Publication Date

2022

Journal or Book Title

Royal Society Open Science

Abstract

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.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.220064

Volume

9

Issue

10

License

UMass Amherst Open Access Policy

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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