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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/45473

Title: Network theory may explain the vulnerability of medieval human settlements to the Black Death pandemic
Authors: Gómez Reyes, José María
Verdú, Miguel
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: Epidemics can spread across large regions becoming pandemics by flowing along transportation and social networks. Two network attributes, transitivity (when a node is connected to two other nodes that are also directly connected between them) and centrality (the number and intensity of connections with the other nodes in the network), are widely associated with the dynamics of transmission of pathogens. Here we investigate how network centrality and transitivity influence vulnerability to diseases of human populations by examining one of the most devastating pandemic in human history, the fourteenth century plague pandemic called Black Death. We found that, after controlling for the city spatial location and the disease arrival time, cities with higher values of both centrality and transitivity were more severely affected by the plague. A simulation study indicates that this association was due to central cities with high transitivity undergo more exogenous re-infections. Our study provides an easy method to identify hotspots in epidemic networks. Focusing our effort in those vulnerable nodes may save time and resources by improving our ability of controlling deadly epidemics.
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Keywords: Network theory
Disease transmission
Black Death
Epidemics
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10481/45473
ISSN: 2045-2322
Rights : Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License
Citation: Gómez Reyes, J.M.; Verdú, M. Network theory may explain the vulnerability of medieval human settlements to the Black Death pandemic. Scientific Reports, 7: 43467 (2017). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/45473]
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