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International Journal of Stochastic Analysis
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 576381, 9 pages
Research Article

Risk of Infectious Disease Outbreaks by Imported Cases with Application to the European Football Championship 2012

1Bolyai Institute, University of Szeged, Aradi vértanúk tere 1, Szeged 6720, Hungary
2MTA-SZTE Analysis and Stochastics Research Group, Bolyai Institute, Aradi vértanúk tere 1, Szeged 6720, Hungary
3School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, 100 Cyberport Road, Hong Kong
4PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Saitama, Japan

Received 28 September 2012; Accepted 27 November 2012

Academic Editor: Charles J. Mode

Copyright © 2013 Attila Dénes et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control called the attention in March 2012 to the risk of measles in Ukraine among visitors to the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship. Large populations of supporters travelled to various locations in Poland and Ukraine, depending on the schedule of Euro 2012 and the outcome of the games, possibly carrying the disease from one location to another. In the present study, we propose a novel two-phase multitype branching process model with immigration to describe the risk of a major epidemic in connection with large-scale sports-related mass gathering events. By analytic means, we calculate the expected number and the variance of imported cases and the probability of a major epidemic caused by the imported cases in their home country. Applying our model to the case study of Euro 2012 we demonstrate that the results of the football games can be highly influential to the risk of measles outbreaks in the home countries of supporters. To prevent imported epidemics, it should be emphasized that vaccinating travellers would most efficiently reduce the risk of epidemic, while requiring the minimum doses of vaccines as compared to other vaccination strategies. Our theoretical framework can be applied to other future sport tournaments too.