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Modeling Transmission Dynamics for the Fall Wave of the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic in Montreal and Winnipeg

In recent years, communicable diseases, such as The Avian Flu and SARS, have dominated the news, and in the process, they have had tremendous impact on public health policies. In this paper, we introduce a mathematical model that is used to study the epidemics and pandemics. The work is motivated by data on the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic in the cities of Montreal, Canada and Winniped, Canada. We estimated model parameters for the two cities using 1918 fall were epidemic data using least square fitting. We then explore the role of heterogeneity via a two-patch (city) model. For the single-patch model, we derive a formula for a final size epidemic and the basic reproduction number (R0). R0 is found to be 14.58 for Montreal and 5.39 for Winnipeg. The number of asymptomatic cases in Montreal and Winnipeg were found to be approximately 200,000 and 60,000, respectively. We surmise that the low reporting and high number of asymptomatic cases can be explained by a lack of public health facilities, and higher severity of the disease during that period.

Article Number:
MTBI-04-04M

Year:
2007

Authors:
Romarie Morales, University of Puerto Rico
Helene Nehrebecki, Arizona State University
Carolina Pontones-Argueta, Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico
Jose M. Vega-Guzman, Arizona State University
Anuj Mubayi, Arizona State University
Joaquin Rivera, Arizona State University

modeling_transmission_dynamics_for_the_fall_wave_of_the_1918-1919_influenza_pandemic_in_montreal_and_winnipeg_.pdf