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With a simple phenomenological metapopulation model, which characterizes the invasion process of an influenza pandemic from a source to a subpopulation at risk, we compare the efficiency of inter- and intrapopulation interventions in delaying the arrival of an influenza pandemic. We take travel restriction and patient isolation as examples, since in reality they are typical control measures implemented at the inter- and intrapopulation levels, respectively. We find that the intrapopulation interventions, e.g., patient isolation, perform better than the interpopulation strategies such as travel restriction if the response time is small. However, intrapopulation strategies are sensitive to the increase of the response time, which might be inevitable due to socioeconomic reasons in practice and will largely discount the efficiency.


Lin Wang, Yan Zhang, Tianyi Huang, Xiang Li. Estimating the value of containment strategies in delaying the arrival time of an influenza pandemic: a case study of travel restriction and patient isolation. Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics. 2012 Sep;86(3 Pt 1):032901

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PMID: 23030969

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