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Math Biosci. 2005 Dec;198(2):119-31. Epub 2005 Aug 30.

The Kermack-McKendrick epidemic model revisited.

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  • 1Department of Mathematics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2, Canada.


The Kermack-McKendrick epidemic model of 1927 is an age of infection model, that is, a model in which the infectivity of an individual depends on the time since the individual became infective. A special case, which is formulated as a two-dimensional system of ordinary differential ordinary differential equations, has often been called the Kermack-McKendrick model. One of the products of the SARS epidemic of 2002-2003 was a variety of epidemic models including general contact rates, quarantine, and isolation. These models can be viewed as age of infection epidemic models and analyzed using the approach of the full Kermack-McKendrick model. All these models share the basic properties that there is a threshold between disappearance of the disease and an epidemic outbreak, and that an epidemic will die out without infecting the entire population.

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