Modeling of contact tracing in epidemic populations structured by disease age

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1 Scopus citations


We consider an age-structured epidemic model with two basic public health interventions: (i) identifying and isolating symptomatic cases, and (ii) tracing and quarantine of the contacts of identified infectives. The dynamics of the infected population are modeled by a nonlinear infection-agedependent partial differential equation, which is coupled with an ordinary differential equation that describes the dynamics of the susceptible population. Theoretical results about global existence and uniqueness of positive solutions are proved. We also present two practical applications of our model: (1) we assess public health guidelines about emergency preparedness and response in the event of a smallpox bioterrorist attack; (2) we simulate the 2003 SARS outbreak in Taiwan and estimate the number of cases avoided by contact tracing. Our model can be applied as a rational basis for decision makers to guide interventions and deploy public health resources in future epidemics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1685-1713
Number of pages29
JournalDiscrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems - Series B
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Age since infection
  • Contact tracing
  • Epidemic disease
  • Quarantine
  • SARS
  • Smallpox

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics
  • Applied Mathematics


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