A new method for estimating the effort required to control an infectious disease

M. G. Roberts, J. A. P. Heesterbeek

Abstract

We propose a new threshold quantity for the analysis of the epidemiology of infectious diseases. The quantity is similar in concept to the familiar basic reproduction ratio, R0, but it singles out particular host types instead of providing a criterion that is uniform for all host types. Using this methodology we are able to identify the long–term effects of disease–control strategies for particular subgroups of the population, to estimate the level of control necessary when targeting control effort at a subset of host types, and to identify host types that constitute a reservoir of infection. These insights cannot be obtained by using R0 alone.