Impact of vaccination on the spatial correlation and persistence of measles dynamics.
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The onset of measles vaccination in England and Wales in 1968 coincided with a marked drop in the temporal correlation of epidemic patterns between major cities. We analyze a variety of hypotheses for the mechanisms driving this change. Straightforward stochastic models suggest that the interaction between a lowered susceptible population (and hence increased demographic noise) and nonlinear dynamics is sufficient to cause the observed drop in correlation. The decorrelation of epidemics could potentially lessen the chance of global extinction and so inhibit attempts at measles eradication.
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