Mathematical Model of the Role of Asymptomatic Infection in Outbreaks of Some Emerging Pathogens
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Mathematical Model of the Role of Asymptomatic Infection in Outbreaks of Some Emerging Pathogens

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  • Alternative Title:
    Trop Med Infect Dis
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    Preparation for outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases is often predicated on beliefs that we will be able to understand the epidemiological nature of an outbreak early into its inception. However, since many rare emerging diseases exhibit different epidemiological behaviors from outbreak to outbreak, early and accurate estimation of the epidemiological situation may not be straightforward in all cases. Previous studies have proposed considering the role of active asymptomatic infections co-emerging and co-circulating as part of the process of emergence of a novel pathogen. Thus far, consideration of the role of asymptomatic infections in emerging disease dynamics have usually avoided considering some important sets of influences. In this paper, we present and analyze a mathematical model to explore the hypothetical scenario that some (re)emerging diseases may actually be able to maintain stable, endemic circulation successfully in an entirely asymptomatic state. We argue that an understanding of this potential mechanism for diversity in observed epidemiological dynamics may be of considerable importance in understanding and preparing for outbreaks of novel and/or emerging diseases.
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