Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 8 (2007), Issue 3, Pages 153-164
Original Article

Media/Psychological Impact on Multiple Outbreaks of Emerging Infectious Diseases

1Department of Mathematics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2067, USA
2LAMPS/LIAM, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, York University, Toronto, M3J 1P3, Canada

Received 20 May 2004; Revised 2 November 2006; Accepted 1 May 2007

Copyright © 2007 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We use a compartmental model to illustrate a possible mechanism for multiple outbreaks or even sustained periodic oscillations of emerging infectious diseases due to the psychological impact of the reported numbers of infectious and hospitalized individuals. This impact leads to the change of avoidance and contact patterns at both individual and community levels, and incorporating this impact using a simple nonlinear incidence function into the model shows qualitative differences of the transmission dynamics.