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- Caroline E. Walters
- Maria Bekker-Nielsen Dunbar
- Dale Weston
- Ian M. Hall
Mathematical modelling is an important public health tool for aiding understanding the spread of respiratory infectious diseases, such as influenza or COVID-19, and for quantifying the effects of behavioural interventions. However, such models rarely explicitly appeals to theories of human behaviour to justify model assumptions. Here we propose a novel mathematical model of disease transmission via fomites (luggage trays) at airport security screening during an outbreak. Our model incorporates the self-protective behaviour of using hand sanitiser gel in line with the extended parallel processing model (EPPM) of behaviour.
We find that changing model assumptions of human behaviour in line with the EPPM gives qualitatively different results on the optimal placement of hand sanitiser gels within an airport compared to the model with naive behavioural assumptions. Specifically, that it is preferable to place hand sanitiser gels after luggage screening in most scenarios, however in situations where individuals perceive high threat and low efficacy this strategy may need to be reviewed. This model demonstrates how existing behavioural theories can be incorporated into mathematical models of infectious disease.