Chapter 6

An introduction to stochastic modelling

This chapter discusses how chance influences the dynamics of infections and the methods for developing stochastic models, which incorporate the effects of chance. The interpretation of output from such models is discussed, together with the insights that these models provide into how outbreak data can be interpreted and analysed. In addition, we discuss the use of microsimulation models, such as those which have been developed during the early 2000s to explore the impact of control against pandemic influenza.

Two predictions of an epidemic curve following the introduction of one infectious person into a totally susceptible population generated using a stochastic model.

Note that the predictions of the models differ because chance influences events in the population.

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