Compartmental models help epidemiologists and infectious disease experts make sense of the world of disease. Using these mathematical models, epidemiologists analyze the spread of infections, predict how many people may be infected by a particular disease, and assess intervention strategies in the best interest of public health.
Compartmental models offer insights into:
- Disease transmission: By dividing a population into distinct categories (e.g., susceptible and infected individuals), compartmental models can provide insights into how a disease spreads within that population.
- The size of an epidemic: Mathematical modeling allows researchers and public health experts to estimate epidemic and outbreak sizes. Often, different scenarios of outbreaks can be simulated by varying parameters like transmission rates or the types of interventions implemented.
- Informed decision-making: Compartmental models empower healthcare professionals, and public health agencies to understand potential outcomes based on public health measures aimed at controlling an outbreak’s progression before they are actually put into practice.