Stochastic dynamics of cholera epidemics
We describe the predictions of an analytically tractable stochastic model for cholera epidemics following a single initial outbreak. The exact model relies on a set of assumptions that may restrict the generality of the approach and yet provides a realm of powerful tools and results. Without resorting to the depletion of susceptible individuals, as usually assumed in deterministic susceptible-infected-recovered models, we show that a simple stochastic equation for the number of ill individuals provides a mechanism for the decay of the epidemics occurring on the typical time scale of seasonality. The model is shown to provide a reasonably accurate description of the empirical data of the 2000/2001 cholera epidemic which took place in the Kwa Zulu-Natal Province, South Africa, with possibly notable epidemiological implications.