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Clancy, CF, O'Callaghan, MJA, Kelly, TC;
A Multi-Scale Problem Arising In A Model of Avian Flu Virus In A Seabird Colony
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Understanding the dynamics of epidemics of novel pathogens such as the H5N1 strain of avian influenza is of crucial importance to public and veterinary health as well as wildlife ecology. We model the effect of a new virus on a seabird colony, where no pre-existing Herd Immunity exists. The seabirds in question are so-called K-strategists, i.e. they have a relatively long life expectancy and very low reproductive output. They live in isolated colonies which typically contain tens of thousands of birds. These densely populated colonies, with so many birds competing for nesting space, would seem to provide perfect conditions for the entry and spread of an infection. Yet there are relatively few reported cases of epidemics among these seabirds. We develop a SEIR model which incorporates some of the unusual features of seabird population biology and examine the effects of introducing a pathogen into the colony..
DOI 10.1088/1742-6596/55/1/004
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