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Stay at Home, Wash Your Hands: Epidemic Dynamics with Awareness of Infection

Adam Kleczkowski and Savi Maharaj

The 2010 Summer Computer Simulation Conference (SCSC 10)
Ottawa, Canada, July 11-14, 2010


This paper describes work in progress studying a cellular automata model of epidemic dynamics on a spatial network. We assume that susceptible individuals become aware of the presence of infection within their local neighborhood, and modify their behavior so as to reduce the risk of becoming infected. Two behavioral modifications are considered: reducing the number of contacts (“staying at home”), and reducing the likelihood that contact results in infection (“washing hands”). We will consider how these modifications affect the scope and duration of the epidemic, and how cost-effective they might be. The paper describes preliminary results obtained by running simulations on a simple spatial lattice. These results are compared with a mean field approximation. We end with an overview of our plans for future work.

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