How surface and fomite infection affect contagion dynamics: a study with self-propelled particles
Department of Physics, National Institute of Technology, Durgapur, India
2 Department of E&ECE, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India
Accepted: 18 December 2021
Published online: 12 January 2022
Self-propelled particles have been a tool of choice for many studies for understanding spatial interaction of people and propagation of infectious diseases. Other than the direct contagion process through face-to-face contacts with an infected agent, in some diseases, like COVID-19, the disease can spread by indirect ways, through contaminated object surfaces and puff-clouds created by the infected individual. However, this dual spreading process and the impact of these indirect infections in the entire dynamics are not properly explored. In this work, we consider epidemic spreading in an artificial society, with realistic parameters and movements of people, along with the possibilities of indirect exposure through contaminated surfaces and puff-clouds. This particular simulation based infectious disease dynamics is associated with the movements of some self-propelled free agents executing random motion which is investigated in conjunction with the rules of a realistic contagion process. With mathematical formulation and extensive computational studies, we have accommodated the indirect infection possibilities into the dynamics by incorporating an infectious ‘tail’ with the infected individuals. Analytical expressions of survival distance and infection probability of individuals have been explicitly calculated and reported. Results of precise and comparative simulation study have revealed the seriousness of indirect infections in connection with several dynamical parameters. Using this framework, interpretation of multiple waves in local as well as global scenarios have been established for COVID-19 infection statistics. Furthermore, the importance of indirect infections are also pointed out through data fitting, showing that ignoring this component might cause a misinterpretation of the dynamical parameters, like, imposed restrictions.
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2022