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The Effects of Regional Vaccination Heterogeneity on Measles Outbreaks with France as a Case Study

The rubeola virus, commonly known as measles, is one of the major causes of vaccine-preventable deaths among children worldwide. This is the case despite the fact that an effective vaccine is widely available. Even in developed countries elimination efforts have fallen short as seen by recent outbreaks in Europe, which had over 30,000 cases reported in 2010. The string of measles outbreaks in France from 2008-2011 is of particular interest due to the documented disparity in regional vaccination coverage. The impact of heterogeneous vaccine coverage on disease transmission is a broad interest and the focus of this study. A Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Recovered (SEIR) multi-patch epidemiological model capturing the regional differences in vaccination rates and mixing is introduced. The mathematical analysis of a two-patch system is carried out to help our understanding of the behavior of multi-patch systems. Numerical simulations are generated to aid the study of the system's qualitative dynamics. Data from the recent French outbreaks were used to generate parameter values and to help connect theory with application. Our findings show that heterogeneous vaccination coverage increases controlled reproduction number compared to comparable homogeneous coverage.

  • Poster session award recipient at the 2015 AMS/MAA Joint Mathematics Meeting in San Antonio, TX

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Elaine Alexander – Arizona State University
Savanah McMahon - Arizona State University
Nicholas Roberts - Arizona State University
Emilio Sutti – National University of Salta
Daniel Burkow - Arizona State University
Miles Manning - Arizona State University
Kamuela Yong - Arizona State University
Sergei Suslov - Arizona State University