Hopf bifurcation in epidemic models with a latent period and nonpermanent immunity. (English) Zbl 0877.92023

Summary: Some SEIRS epidemiological models with vaccination and temporary immunity are considered. First of all, previously published work is reviewed. In the next section, a general model with a constant contact rate and a density-dependent death rate is examined. The model is reformulated in terms of the proportions of susceptible, incubating, infectious, and immune individuals. Next the equilibrium and stability properties of this model are examined, assuming that the average duration of immunity exceeds the infectious period. There is a threshold parameter \(R_0\) and the disease can persist if and only if \(R_0\) exceeds one. The disease-free equilibrium always exists and is locally stable if \(R_0<1\) and unstable if \(R_0>1\). Conditions are derived for the global stability of the disease-free equilibrium. For \(R_0>1\), the endemic equilibrium is unique and locally asymptotically stable.
For the full model dealing with numbers of individuals, there are two critical contact rates. These give conditions for the disease, respectively, to drive a population which would otherwise persist at a finite level or explode to extinction and to cause a population that would otherwise explode to be regulated at a finite level. If the contact rate \(\beta(N)\) is a monotone increasing function of the population size, then we find that there are now three threshold parameters which determine whether or not the disease can persist proportionally. Moreover, the endemic equilibrium need no longer be locally asymptotically stable. Instead stable limit cycles can arise by supercritical Hopf bifurcation from the endemic equilibrium as this equilibrium loses its stability. This is confirmed numerically.


92D30 Epidemiology
34D99 Stability theory for ordinary differential equations
Full Text: DOI


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