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Sci Rep. 2012;2:887. doi: 10.1038/srep00887. Epub 2012 Nov 27.

Safety-information-driven human mobility patterns with metapopulation epidemic dynamics.

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Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan.


With the help of mass media, people receive information concerning the status of an infectious disease to guide their mobility. Herein, we develop a theoretical framework to investigate the safety-information-driven human mobility with metapopulation epidemic dynamics. Individuals respond to the safety information of a city by taking safe moves (passing cities with a more number of healthy individuals) or unsafe moves (passing cities with a less number of healthy individuals). Our findings show that the critical threshold depends on mobility in such a way that personal execution of safe moves unexpectedly promotes the global spread of a disease, while unsafe moves counterintuitively cause a locally, relatively small outbreak size. Our analysis underlines the role of safety consideration in the spatial spread of an infectious disease with clear implications for the model of mobility driven by individuals' benefit.

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