Epidemic as a natural process

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/300002

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Koivu-Jolma , M & Annila , A 2018 , ' Epidemic as a natural process ' , Mathematical Biosciences , vol. 299 , pp. 97-102 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mbs.2018.03.012

Title: Epidemic as a natural process
Author: Koivu-Jolma, Mikko; Annila, Arto
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Biosciences
Date: 2018-05
Language: eng
Number of pages: 6
Belongs to series: Mathematical Biosciences
ISSN: 0025-5564
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/300002
Abstract: Mathematical epidemiology is a well-recognized discipline to model infectious diseases. It also provides guidance for public health officials to limit outbreaks. Nevertheless, epidemics take societies by surprise every now and then, for example, when the Ebola virus epidemic raged seemingly unrestrained in Western Africa. We provide insight to this capricious character of nature by describing the epidemic as a natural process, i.e., a phenomenon governed by thermodynamics. Our account, based on statistical mechanics of open systems, clarifies that it is impossible to predict accurately epidemic courses because everything depends on everything else. Nonetheless, the thermodynamic theory yields a comprehensive and analytical view of the epidemic. The tenet subsumes various processes in a scale-free manner from the molecular to the societal levels. The holistic view accentuates overarching procedures in arresting and eradicating epidemics.
Subject: Evolution
Free energy
Mathematical modeling
Non-determinism
The principle of least action
The second law of thermodynamics
SIERRA-LEONE
ENERGY DISPERSAL
EBOLA
VIRULENCE
CHALLENGE
TRANSMISSION
INFECTIOUS-DISEASES
EVOLUTION
ADAPTATION
DYNAMICS
111 Mathematics
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