IMFUFA Seminar: Disease spreading and heterogeneity - superspreaders and the case for statistical physics ved Bjarke Frost Nielsen (KU)
This finding is surprisingly robust and has been reproduced by several methods, including studies based on contact tracing, aggregated incidence data and phylodynamics. Recent mathematical models have shown that this feature has profound- and positive - implications for the effectiveness of some non-pharmaceutical interventions, most notably lockdowns. This also offers an explanation for the unexpectedly large effect of lockdowns in battling SARS-CoV-2. As I will show in this talk, capturing this phenomenon in a mathematical model requires concepts from statistical physics such as quenched vs. annealed noise and agent-based modeling. Our modeling also shows that mitigation strategies may exert an evolutionary pressure on the pathogen due to the superspreading phenomenon. As such, superspreading may play a role in determining the evolutionary future of the virus.
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