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Spatial spreading of West Nile virus described by traveling waves. (English) Zbl 1405.92260
Summary: In this work, we propose a spatial model to analyze the West Nile virus (WNV) propagation across the USA, from east to west. WNV is an arthropod-borne flavivirus that appeared for the first time in New York City in the summer of 1999 and then spread prolifically among birds. Mammals, such as humans and horses, do not develop sufficiently high bloodstream titers to play a significant role in the transmission, which is the reason to consider the mosquito-bird cycle. The model aims to study this propagation based on a system of partial differential reaction-diffusion equations taking the mosquito and the avian populations into account. Diffusion and advection movements are allowed for both populations, being greater in the avian than in the mosquito population. The traveling wave solutions of the model are studied to determine the speed of disease dissemination. This wave speed is obtained as a function of the model’s parameters, in order to assess the control strategies. The propagation of WNV from New York City to California state is established as a consequence of the diffusion and advection movements of birds. Mosquito movements do not play an important role in the disease dissemination, while bird advection becomes an important factor for lower mosquito biting rates.

92D30 Epidemiology
35C07 Traveling wave solutions
35Q92 PDEs in connection with biology, chemistry and other natural sciences
Full Text: DOI
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