Simulating the Spread of Infectious Diseases in Large Cities

Anders Johansson, Mike Batty and colleagues’ paper in The Lancet Infectious Diseases is published online today. There they are exploring how models for simulating crowds can be extended to deal with the spread of infectious diseases in  high density environments.


Details of the paper follow:

The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Early Online Publication, 16 January 2012

doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(11)70287-0Cite or Link Using DOI

Crowd and environmental management during mass gatherings

Dr Anders Johansson PhD a b , Prof Michael Batty PhD a, Konrad Hayashi MD c, Osama Al Bar PhD d, David Marcozzi MD e, Prof Ziad A Memish MD f g

Crowds are a feature of large cities, occurring not only at mass gatherings but also at routine events such as the journey to work. To address extreme crowding, various computer models for crowd movement have been developed in the past decade, and we review these and show how they can be used to identify health and safety issues. State-of-the-art models that simulate the spread of epidemics operate on a population level, but the collection of fine-scale data might enable the development of models for epidemics that operate on a microscopic scale, similar to models for crowd movement. We provide an example of such simulations, showing how an individual-based crowd model can mirror aggregate susceptible—infected—recovered models that have been the main models for epidemics so far.