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Title: Effects of fear factors in disease propagation
Authors: Wang, Y.
Xiao, G.
Wong, L. 
Fu, X.
Ma, S.
Cheng, T.H.
Issue Date: 2011
Source: Wang, Y., Xiao, G., Wong, L., Fu, X., Ma, S., Cheng, T.H. (2011). Effects of fear factors in disease propagation. Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical 44 (35). ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Upon an outbreak of a dangerous infectious disease, people generally tend to reduce their contacts with others in fear of getting infected. Such typical actions apparently help slow down the spreading of infection. Thanks to today's broad public media coverage, the fear factor may even contribute to preventing an outbreak from happening. We are motivated to study such effects by adopting a complex network approach. First we evaluate the simple case where connections between individuals are randomly removed due to the fear factor. Then we consider a different case where each individual keeps at least a few connections after contact reduction. Such a case is arguably more realistic since people may choose to keep a few social contacts, e.g., with their family members and closest friends, at any cost. Finally, a study is conducted on the case where connection removals are carried out dynamically while the infection is spreading out. Analytical and simulation results show that the fear factor may not easily prevent an epidemic outbreak from happening in scale-free networks. However, it significantly reduces the fraction of the nodes ever getting infected during the outbreak. © 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Source Title: Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
ISSN: 17518113
DOI: 10.1088/1751-8113/44/35/355101
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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