Heterogeneity in social and epidemiological factors determines the risk of measles outbreaks

Paolo Bosetti, Piero Poletti, Massimo Stella, Bruno Lepri, Stefano Merler, and Manlio De Domenico

The recent increase in large-scale migration trends generates several concerns about public health in destination countries, especially in the presence of massive incoming human flows from countries with a disrupted healthcare system. Here, we analyze the flow of 3.5 M Syrian refugees toward Turkey to quantify the risk of measles outbreaks. Our results suggest that heterogeneity in immunity, population distribution, and human-mobility flows is mostly responsible for such a risk: In fact, adequate policies of social integration and vaccine campaigns provide the most effective strategies to reduce measles disease risks for both migrant and hosting populations.

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