Local variations in spatial synchrony of influenza epidemics.

TitleLocal variations in spatial synchrony of influenza epidemics.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsStark JH, Cummings DAT, Ermentrout B, Ostroff S, Sharma R, Stebbins S, Burke DS, Wisniewski SR
JournalPLoS One
Volume7
Issue8
Paginatione43528
Date Published2012
ISSN1932-6203
KeywordsDisease Outbreaks, Humans, Influenza, Human, Population Density
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Understanding the mechanism of influenza spread across multiple geographic scales is not complete. While the mechanism of dissemination across regions and states of the United States has been described, understanding the determinants of dissemination between counties has not been elucidated. The paucity of high resolution spatial-temporal influenza incidence data to evaluate disease structure is often not available.METHODOLOGY AND FINDINGS: We report on the underlying relationship between the spread of influenza and human movement between counties of one state. Significant synchrony in the timing of epidemics exists across the entire state and decay with distance (regional correlation=62%). Synchrony as a function of population size display evidence of hierarchical spread with more synchronized epidemics occurring among the most populated counties. A gravity model describing movement between two populations is a stronger predictor of influenza spread than adult movement to and from workplaces suggesting that non-routine and leisure travel drive local epidemics.CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the complex nature of influenza spread across multiple geographic scales.

DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0043528
Alternate JournalPLoS ONE
PubMed ID22916274
PubMed Central IDPMC3420894
Grant ListU01 GM070708 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
U01 GM070708-05 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
U54 GM088491 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
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