# Mathematical Epidemiology

## Toby Campbell

### MATH235 Mathematics Advanced Project

### Spring 2004

**Introduction**
Throughout the earth, diseases affect people from all walks of life.
People from different races, religions, age groups and
socio-economics classes can all be susceptible to various diseases.
Thus mankind as a whole endures great suffering, as hundreds of
millions are painfully afflicted and many lose their lives to a
foe much stronger than themselves. The struggle is greatest in third
world countries, where malnutrition is typical and health standards
are, as a rule, dismal. Sadly, infants and children are the most
vulnerable, and worst affected by disease. Every year 11 million
children aged five or under due from diseases that could
easily have been prevented.
This equates to the unnecessary death of one one child every 3.5 seconds.
These figures cannot possibly be received comfortably when it is also
known that the cost of immunising a child against these diseases is merely
a few cents.

So what can be done to ease this burden from the weary backs of so many?
How can mathematics help to provide the answers?

By effectively modelling the disease mathematically, the model can be
used to predict the behaviour of the disease, that is, the occurrence
and severity of epidemics, the long term fraction of the population
that is infected and the possibility of the disease being eradicated.
From this data decisions can be made about treatment and
vaccination, so that infections are minimised in the most cost
effective manner, saving both people from harm and resources for aid
organisations.

Over the past semester I have been looking at some simple ways of modelling
diseases and using the models to analyse the behaviour of the diseases,
and the affect this has on the population.

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Page Created: 13th July 2005.

Last Updated: 2nd December 2009.