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Concepts of diffusion theory and a graphic approach to the description of the epidemic flow of contagious disease.
  • Published Date:
    1980 Sep-Oct
  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 95(5):478-485
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.78 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
  • Description:
    Concepts used to analyze sociological, geographic, and economic processes were adapted to an examination of the diffusion of contagious disease. The example used in applying these concepts was an epidemic of variola minor which continued for 12 months in an area of 1,006 square kilometers centered on the city of Bragan├ža Paulista, Sao Paulo State (Brazil). A graphic procedure is proposed that depicts aspects of the epidemic flow of person-to-person transmission. Spatial, temporal, and sociological characteristics of the epidemic flow are disclosed in sequential diagrams. They represent geographic areas as well as schools and agglomerates of households affected by the epidemic at a given time, the mode of diffusion, and the source of the infection. The procedure yielded indirect evidence of the role of school pupils as introducers of variola minor into households and school classes. All subdivisions of the city, six of the seven rural districts, and four of the five elementary schools were affected through hierarchical (between-areas) diffusion. Subsequently, there was neighborhood (within-area) diffusion, and this resulted in new interactions between areas.

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