[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
Sci Adv. 2018 Dec 12;4(12):eaau5294. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau5294. eCollection 2018 Dec.
Urbanization affects peak timing, prevalence, and bimodality of influenza pandemics in Australia: Results of a census-calibrated model.
Zachreson C1, Fair KM1, Cliff OM1, Harding N1, Piraveenan M1, Prokopenko M1,2.
Author information: 1 Complex Systems Research Group, School of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and IT, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. 2 Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, The University of Sydney, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia.
We examine salient trends of influenza pandemics in Australia, a rapidly urbanizing nation. To do so, we implement state-of-the-art influenza transmission and progression models within a large-scale stochastic computer simulation, generated using comprehensive Australian census datasets from 2006, 2011, and 2016. Our results offer a simulation-based investigation of a population’s sensitivity to pandemics across multiple historical time points and highlight three notable trends in pandemic patterns over the years: increased peak prevalence, faster spreading rates, and decreasing spatiotemporal bimodality. We attribute these pandemic trends to increases in two key quantities indicative of urbanization: the population fraction residing in major cities and international air traffic. In addition, we identify features of the pandemic’s geographic spread that we attribute to changes in the commuter mobility network. The generic nature of our model and the ubiquity of urbanization trends around the world make it likely for our results to be applicable in other rapidly urbanizing nations.
PMID: 30547086 PMCID: PMC6291314 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau5294
Keywords: Pandemic Influenza; Australia; Society; Mathematical models.