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Mathematical Tools for Understanding Infectious Disease Dynamics$
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Odo Diekmann, Hans Heesterbeek, and Tom Britton

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691155395

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691155395.001.0001

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Age structure

Age structure

(p.227) Chapter Nine Age structure
Mathematical Tools for Understanding Infectious Disease Dynamics

Odo Diekmann

Hans Heesterbeek

Tom Britton

Princeton University Press

This chapter elaborates on the special case of age structure. Especially in the context of infectious diseases among humans, “age” is often used to characterize individuals. Partly this reflects our system of public health administration (and, perhaps, our preoccupation with age). There is, however, a more “mechanistic” reason to incorporate age structure: patterns of human social behavior and sexual activity correlate with age. In addition, the effect that the infective agent has on the host sometimes depends heavily on the age of the host (e.g., in polio) or it may depend on another aspect of the host, such as pregnancy, which correlates with age (e.g., in rubella). The chapter also discusses vaccination strategies as one of the major applied issues of age-structured epidemic models.

Keywords:   infectious disease, age structure, demography, vaccination, epidemic models, human social behavior, sexual activity, infective agent

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