Understanding disease control: influence of epidemiological and economic factors

Katarzyna Oleś, Ewa Gudowska-Nowak, Adam Kleczkowski

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14 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


We present a model of disease transmission on a regular and small world network and compare different control options. Comparison is based on a total cost of epidemic, including cost of palliative treatment of ill individuals and preventive cost aimed at vaccination or culling of susceptible individuals. Disease is characterized by pre-symptomatic phase, which makes detection and control difficult. Three general strategies emerge: global preventive treatment, local treatment within a neighborhood of certain size and only palliative treatment with no prevention. While the choice between the strategies depends on a relative cost of palliative and preventive treatment, the details of the local strategy and, in particular, the size of the optimal treatment neighborhood depend on the epidemiological factors. The required extent of prevention is proportional to the size of the infection neighborhood, but depends on time till detection and time till treatment in a non-nonlinear (power) law. The optimal size of control neighborhood is also highly sensitive to the relative cost, particularly for inefficient detection and control application. These results have important consequences for design of prevention strategies aiming at emerging diseases for which parameters are not nessecerly known in advance.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere36026
Number of pages9
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2012


  • infectious disease control
  • epidemiolgy
  • epidemic dynamics
  • socioeconomic factors
  • epidemiological data
  • Monte Carlo method
  • health economics
  • vaccination
  • immunisation
  • network analysis
  • disease transmission


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