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Journal of Applied Mathematics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 325816, 20 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/325816
Research Article

FLUed: A Novel Four-Layer Model for Simulating Epidemic Dynamics and Assessing Intervention Policies

1Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, Chang Gung University, 259 Wen-Hwa 1st Road, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan
2Research Center for Emerging Viral Infections, Chang Gung University, 259 Wen-Hwa 1st Road, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan
3Department of Geography, National Taiwan University, No. 1 Section 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
4Infectious Disease Research and Education Center (DOH-NTU), No. 17, Hsu-Chu Road, Taipei, Taiwan

Received 4 February 2013; Revised 16 June 2013; Accepted 17 June 2013

Academic Editor: Constantinos Siettos

Copyright © 2013 Chung-Yuan Huang 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.

Abstract

From the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic, to the 2009 swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) pandemic, to the projected highly pathogenic avian influenza A event, emerging infectious diseases highlight the importance of computational epidemiology to assess potential intervention policies. Hence, an important and timely research goal is a general-purpose and extendable simulation model that integrates two major epidemiological factors—age group and population movement—and substantial amounts of demographic, geographic, and epidemiologic data. In this paper, we describe a model that we have named FLUed for Four-layer Universal Epidemic Dynamics that integrates complex daily commuting network data into multiple age-structured compartmental models. FLUed has four contact structures for simulating the epidemic dynamics of emerging infectious diseases, assessing the potential efficacies of various intervention policies, and identifying the potential impacts of spatial-temporal epidemic trends on specific populations. We used data from the seasonal influenza A and 2009 swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) epidemics to validate model reliability and suitability and to assess the potential impacts of intervention policies and variation in initial outbreak areas for novel/seasonal influenza A in Taiwan. We believe that the FLUed model represents an effective tool for public health agencies responsible for initiating early responses to potential pandemics.