Impact of preventive responses to epidemics in rural regions



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Various epidemics have arisen in rural locations through human-animal interaction, such as the H1N1 outbreak of 2009. Through collaboration with local government officials, we have surveyed a rural county and its communities and collected a dataset characterizing the rural population. From the respondents’ answers, we build a social (face-to-face) contact network. With this network, we explore the potential spread of epidemics through a Susceptible-Latent-Infected-Recovered (SLIR) disease model. We simulate an exact model of a stochastic SLIR Poisson process with disease parameters representing a typical influenza-like illness. We test vaccine distribution strategies under limited resources. We examine global and location-based distribution strategies, as a way to reach critical individuals in the rural setting. We demonstrate that locations can be identified through contact metrics for use in vaccination strategies to control contagious diseases.



Epidemics, Rural regions, Susceptible-Latent-Infected-Recovered (SLIR) disease model, Vaccine distribution strategies