Small world and scale free model of transmission of SARS

Michael Small, Chi Kong Tse

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


We model transmission of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in Hong Kong with a complex small world network. Each node in the network is connected to its immediate neighbors and a random number of geographically isolated nodes. Transmission can only occur along these links. We find that this model exhibits dynamics very similar to those observed during the SARS outbreak in 2003. We derive an analytic expression for the rate of infection and confirm this expression with computational simulations. An immediate consequence of this quantity is that the severity of the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong in 2003 was due to ineffectual infection control in hospitals (i.e. nosocomial transmission). If all infectious individuals were isolated as rapidly as they were identified the severity of the outbreak would have been minimal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1745-1755
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos in Applied Sciences and Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005


  • Scale free network
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
  • Small world network
  • Super-spreader event
  • Transmission dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Small world and scale free model of transmission of SARS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this