This manuscript will be of interest to epidemiologists and population biologists interested in outbreak dynamics in populations with complex social structures, such as emergent viral infections of humans. The study offers a functional, differential-equation (DE)-based framework for capturing the transition from emergence to endemicity without the huge over-compensation cycles typically predicted by DE models but rarely seen in natural populations. The model framework currently offers insights into the drivers of epidemic dynamics and, after further testing and calibration, may be useful for assessing control strategies for emerging infectious diseases.
(This preprint has been reviewed by eLife. We include the public reviews from the reviewers here; the authors also receive private feedback with suggested changes to the manuscript. Reviewer #2 agreed to share their name with the authors.)