Geographic Spread of Epidemics

  • James D. Murray
Part of the Biomathematics book series (BIOMATHEMATICS, volume 19)


The geographic spread of epidemics is even less well understood and much less well studied than the temporal development and control of diseases and epidemics. The usefulness of realistic models for the geotemporal development of epidemics be they infectious disease, drug abuse fads or rumours or misinformation, is obvious. The key question is how to include and quantify spatial effects. In this chapter we shall describe a diffusion model for the geographic spread of a general epidemic which we shall then apply to a well known historical epidemic, namely the ever fascinating mediaeval Black Death of 1347–50. We shall then discuss practical models for the current rabies epidemic which has been sweeping through continental Europe and is now approaching the north coast of France. These type of models, of course, are not restricted to one disease.


Wave Speed Travel Wave Solution Rabies Virus Susceptible Population Spatial Spread 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • James D. Murray
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied Mathematics FS-20University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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