Using random networks to study the dynamics of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in the Spanish region of Valencia
Seasonal fluctuations in the incidence of several respiratory infections are a feature of epidemiological surveys all around the world. This phenomenon is characteristic of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus pandemics. However, the explanation of the seasonal outbreaks of these diseases remains poorly understood. Many statistical studies have been carried out in order to provide a correlation of the outbreaks with climatic or social factors without achieving a definitive conclusion. Here we show that, in a random social network, self-sustained seasonal epidemics emerge as a process modulated by the infection probability and the immunity period after recovering from the infection. This is a purely endogenous phenomenon that does not require any exogenous forcing. Assuming that this is the dominant mechanism for seasonal epidemics, many implications for public health policies for infectious respiratory diseases could be drawn. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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