Spread of infectious diseases remains a major threat. It has been a central and current challenge in mathematical biology to show how mathematical modeling and analysis can facilitate understanding of mechanisms of disease transmissions and thereby, provide guidance for designing disease control strategies under rapid social and environmental changes. Among the various factors that affect the disease spread are spatial dispersal and time lags, with the former due to the increasing inter-connections of the world/environmental changes and the latter as a result of the disease latency (e.g., in Influenza, HIV and and Malaria), postponed relapses of diseases (e.g., Herpes and TB), the stage-development of hosts, as well as the delay in implementing intervention strategies. The worldwide spread of SARS in 2003-04 and the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic clearly demonstrate the importance of incorporating time delay and spatial dispersal into human infectious disease models, and the rapid spread and establishment of West Nile virus and Lyme disease in North American is another example showing how spatial movement of migratory animals facilitates the spatial propagation. In order to reflect the aspects of spatial dispersal and time lag, ordinary and partial differential equation models need to be replaced by models with infection age and spatial structure, leading to systems of delay differential equation with spatial diffusion/dispersal which are infinite dimensional by nature. Disease evolution and ecology also have significant impact on the spread dynamics and need to be incorporated into models.
This workshop aims to bring together applied mathematicians, biologists and researchers from health institutes/departments to (i) examine and refine exiting models; (ii) present new results on disease models with time lags, spatial dispersal and evolutionary factors incorporated; (iii) exchange ideas among researchers in the related areas; (iii) discuss future directions in research of disease dynamics; and (iv) initiate collaborations in focused areas related to global air traffic network; seasonally migratory birds; impact of environmental changes on animal dispersal networks and disease spread.