The Optimal control of infectious diseases via prevention and treatment

in the series Centre for the Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases (CMMID) seminars

Date: Thursday 29 November 2012
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Venue: Jerry Morris B, LSHTM, 15-17 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9SH, UK
Type of event: Seminar
Speaker(s): Flavio Toxvaerd, University of Cambridge

This paper fully characterizes the optimal control of a recurrent infectious disease through the use of prevention and treatment. We find that under centralized decision making, treatment induces positive destabilizing feedback effects, while prevention induces negative stabilizing feedback effects. Under decentralized decision making, these effects create elements of strategic complementarities and substitutabilities, respectively. While optimal treatment pushes prevalence towards the extremes, optimal prevention pushes it towards interior solutions. As a result, the dynamic system may admit multiple steady states and the optimal policy may be path dependent. We find that steady state prevalence levels in decentralized equilibrium must be equal to or higher than the socially optimal levels. While steady state treatment levels under decentralization are typically socially optimal, steady state prevention (if used) is socially suboptimal. Last, we derive a Pigouvian subsidy scheme that decentralizes the socially optimal outcome.

Admission: Free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

Contact: Harriet Hallas
Email: Harriet.Hallas@lshtm.ac.uk

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