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On the time to extinction in recurrent epidemics

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An approximation is derived for the expected time to extinction in a stochastic model for recurrent epidemics. Numerical illustrations indicate that the approximation is crude but that it has the correct order of magnitude. The quasi-stationary distribution plays an important role in the derivation. Approximations for the critical community size and of the persistence threshold are derived. Comments are made on the classical study by Bartlell (1956–1960).
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Keywords: Critical community size; Persistence threshold; Quasi-stationary distribution; Stochastic fade-out; Time to extinction

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: 1999-04-01

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