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  1. Hill, Alison L. (Ed.)
    The structure of contact networks affects the likelihood of disease spread at the population scale and the risk of infection at any given node. Though this has been well characterized for both theoretical and empirical networks for the spread of epidemics on completely susceptible networks, the long-term impact of network structure on risk of infection with an endemic pathogen, where nodes can be infected more than once, has been less well characterized. Here, we analyze detailed records of the transportation of cattle among farms in Turkey to characterize the global and local attributes of the directed—weighted shipments network between 2007-2012.more »We then study the correlations between network properties and the likelihood of infection with, or exposure to, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) over the same time period using recorded outbreaks. The shipments network shows a complex combination of features (local and global) that have not been previously reported in other networks of shipments; i.e. small-worldness, scale-freeness, modular structure, among others. We find that nodes that were either infected or at high risk of infection with FMD (within one link from an infected farm) had disproportionately higher degree, were more central (eigenvector centrality and coreness), and were more likely to be net recipients of shipments compared to those that were always more than 2 links away from an infected farm. High in-degree (i.e. many shipments received) was the best univariate predictor of infection. Low in-coreness (i.e. peripheral nodes) was the best univariate predictor of nodes always more than 2 links away from an infected farm. These results are robust across the three different serotypes of FMD observed in Turkey and during periods of low-endemic prevalence and high-prevalence outbreaks.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 19, 2023
  2. Flegg, Jennifer A. (Ed.)
    Stay-at-home orders and shutdowns of non-essential businesses are powerful, but socially costly, tools to control the pandemic spread of SARS-CoV-2. Mass testing strategies, which rely on widely administered frequent and rapid diagnostics to identify and isolate infected individuals, could be a potentially less disruptive management strategy, particularly where vaccine access is limited. In this paper, we assess the extent to which mass testing and isolation strategies can reduce reliance on socially costly non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as distancing and shutdowns. We develop a multi-compartmental model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission incorporating both preventative non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) and testing and isolation to evaluate theirmore »combined effect on public health outcomes. Our model is designed to be a policy-guiding tool that captures important realities of the testing system, including constraints on test administration and non-random testing allocation. We show how strategic changes in the characteristics of the testing system, including test administration, test delays, and test sensitivity, can reduce reliance on preventative NPIs without compromising public health outcomes in the future. The lowest NPI levels are possible only when many tests are administered and test delays are short, given limited immunity in the population. Reducing reliance on NPIs is highly dependent on the ability of a testing program to identify and isolate unreported, asymptomatic infections. Changes in NPIs, including the intensity of lockdowns and stay at home orders, should be coordinated with increases in testing to ensure epidemic control; otherwise small additional lifting of these NPIs can lead to dramatic increases in infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Importantly, our results can be used to guide ramp-up of testing capacity in outbreak settings, allow for the flexible design of combined interventions based on social context, and inform future cost-benefit analyses to identify efficient pandemic management strategies.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 28, 2022