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Optimal isolation strategies of emerging infectious diseases with limited resources

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  • A classical deterministic SIR model is modified to take into account of limited resources for diagnostic confirmation/medical isolation. We show that this modification leads to four different scenarios (instead of three scenarios in comparison with the SIR model) for optimal isolation strategies, and obtain analytic solutions for the optimal control problem that minimize the outbreak size under the assumption of limited resources for isolation. These solutions and their corresponding optimal control policies are derived explicitly in terms of initial conditions, model parameters and resources for isolation (such as the number of intensive care units). With sufficient resources, the optimal control strategy is the normal Bang-Bang control. However, with limited resources the optimal control strategy requires to switch to time-variant isolation at an optimal rate proportional to the ratio of isolated cases over the entire infected population once the maximum capacity is reached.
    Mathematics Subject Classification: Primary: 92D30.


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