Journal or Book Title
Royal Society Open Science
We present a simple model for the spread of an infection that incorporates spatial variability in population density. Starting from first-principle considerations, we explore how a novel partial differential equation with state-dependent diffusion can be obtained. This model exhibits higher infection rates in the areas of higher population density—a feature that we argue to be consistent with epidemiological observations. The model also exhibits an infection wave, the speed of which varies with population density. In addition, we demonstrate the possibility that an infection can ‘jump’ (i.e. tunnel) across areas of low population density towards areas of high population density. We briefly touch upon the data reported for coronavirus spread in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia as a case example with a number of qualitatively similar features as our model. Lastly, we propose a number of generalizations of the model towards future studies.
UMass Amherst Open Access Policy
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Vaziry, Arvin; Kolokolnikov, T.; and Kevrekidis, P. G., "Modelling of spatial infection spread through heterogeneous population: from lattice to partial differential equation models" (2022). Royal Society Open Science. 1346.