The Power of Disgust: Modeling the Effects of Disease Avoidant Behavior

Disease avoidant behavior can be observed across the animal kingdom, from tadpoles to humans. The fact that this behavior is so prevalent implies that it confers a significant evolutionary advantage. Current epidemic models, however, do not sufficiently consider this behavior. This research uses agent-based epidemic models to measure the effect of disease avoidant behavior on the spread of disease. Preliminary results suggest that the inclusion of disgust (as a disease avoidant behavior) leads to a reduction of the basic reproduction number, a slowing of the spread of infection, and a lower infection peak.

Preliminary results of SEIR Model incorporating avoidant behavior.