Mechanistic modelling of the three waves of the 1918 influenza pandemic

Daihai He, Jonathan Dushoff, Troy Day, Junling Ma, David J.D. Earn

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Influenza pandemics through history have shown very different patterns of incidence, morbidity and mortality. In particular, pandemics in different times and places have shown anywhere from one to three "waves" of incidence. Understanding the factors that underlie variability in temporal patterns, as well as patterns of morbidity and mortality, is important for public health planning. We use a likelihood-based approach to explore different potential explanations for the three waves of incidence and mortality seen in the 1918 influenza pandemic in London, England. Our analysis suggests that temporal variation in transmission rate provides the best proximate explanation and that the variation in transmission required to generate these three epidemic waves is within biologically plausible values.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-288
Number of pages6
JournalTheoretical Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • 1918
  • Influenza
  • London, England
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Pandemic
  • POMP
  • Time series

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Ecological Modelling

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