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Theor Popul Biol. 1988 Jun;33(3):344-70.

Oscillations and chaos in epidemics: a nonlinear dynamic study of six childhood diseases in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721.


Using traditional spectral analysis and recently developed non-linear methods, we analyze the incidence of six childhood diseases in Copenhagen, Denmark. In three cases, measles, mumps, rubella, the dynamics suggest low dimensional chaos. Outbreaks of chicken pox, on the other hand, conform to an annual cycle with noise superimposed. The remaining diseases, pertussis and scarlet fever, remain problematic. The real epidemics are compared with the output of a Monte Carlo analog of the SEIR model for childhood infections. For measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox, we find substantial agreement between the model simulations and the data.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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