Journal of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 473–491 | Cite as

Small amplitude, long period outbreaks in seasonally driven epidemics

  • Ira B. Schwartz


It is now documented that childhood diseases such as measles, mumps, and chickenpox exhibit a wide range of recurrent behavior (periodic as well as chaotic) in large population centers in the first world. Mathematical models used in the past (such as the SEIR model with seasonal forcing) have been able to predict the onset of both periodic and chaotic sustained epidemics using parameters of childhood diseases. Although these models possess stable solutions which appear to have the correct frequency content, the corresponding outbreaks require extremely large populations to support the epidemic. This paper shows that by relaxing the assumption of uniformity in the supply of susceptibles, simple models predict stable long period oscillatory epidemics having small amplitude. Both coupled and single population models are considered.

Key words

Chaos Nonlinear coupled oscillators Epidemiology Dynamics 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ira B. Schwartz
    • 1
  1. 1.US Naval Research LaboratoryWashington, DCUSA

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