The UK government's response to the COVID-19 outbreak has the goal of managing the number of patients requiring intensive care: 'flattening the curve'. This predicted curve comes from mathematical models of the infection process. This course will look at these models, their history, their validation against previous outbreaks, and how they can be applied to novel disease organisms. The course will also discuss wider situations such as endemic diseases, examining the impact of vaccination and the concept of 'herd immunity'. Note that the emphasis of the course will be on the modelling of outbreaks rather than on the biology of the infectious organism and the search for a vaccine, etc. I will also steer clear of the political and financial aspects of the outbreak! The subject matter is inherently mathematical and requires competent numeracy. However I aim to make it accessible to those with a non-mathematical background.
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