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Applying Network Theory to Epidemics: Control Measures for Outbreaks of Mycoplasma pneumoniae

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Author Info

  • Lauren W. Ancel
  • M. E. J. Newman
  • Michael Martin
  • Stephanie Schrag
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    Abstract

    Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a major cause of bacterial pneumonia in the United States. Outbreaks of illness due to mycoplasma commonly occur in closed or semi-closed communities. These outbreaks are difficult to contain due to delays in outbreak detection, the long incubation period of the bacterium, and an incomplete understanding of the effectiveness of infection control strategies. This article introduces a novel mathematical approach to studying the spread and control of a communicable infection such as mycoplasma, in a closed community. The model explicitly captures the patterns of interactions among patients and caregivers in an institution with multiple wards. Analysis of this contact network predicts that despite the relatively low prevalence of mycoplasma pneumonia found among caregivers, the patterns of caregiver activity and the extent to which they are protected against infection may be fundamental to the control and prevention of mycoplasma outbreaks.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Santa Fe Institute in its series Working Papers with number 01-12-078.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:01-12-078

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    Web page: http://www.santafe.edu/sfi/publications/working-papers.html
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    Related research

    Keywords: Epidemiology; models; theoretical; network; respiratory tract infections; Mycoplasma pneumoniae;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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