Mathematical models have become important tools in analyzing the spread and control of infectious diseases. Although chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease receive more attention in developed countries, infectious diseases are the most important causes of suffering and mortality in developing countries. Recently, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which is the etiological agent for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), has become an important sexually-transmitted disease throughout the world. Tuberculosis is again becoming a problem because drug-resistant strains have evolved. Understanding the transmission characteristics of infectious diseases in communities, regions and countries can lead to better approaches to decreasing the transmission of these diseases. Mathematical models are useful in building and testing theories, and in comparing, planning, implementing and evaluating various detection, prevention, therapy and control programs. See Hethcote and Van Ark  for a discussion of the purposes and limitations of epidemiological modeling.
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- A Thousand and One Epidemic Models
Herbert W. Hethcote
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
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