Opposite patterns of synchrony in sympatric disease metapopulations

  • Rohani P
  • Earn D
  • Grenfell B
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Measles epidemics in UK cities, which were regular and highly synchronous before vaccination, are known to have become irregular and spatially uncorrelated in the vaccine era. Whooping cough shows the reverse pattern, namely a shift from spatial incoherence and irregularity before vaccination to regular, synchronous epidemics afterward. Models show that these patterns can arise from disease-specific responses to dynamical noise. This analysis has implications for vaccination strategies and illustrates the power of comparative dynamical studies of sympatric metapopulations.

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