Impact of density-dependent migration flows on epidemic outbreaks in heterogeneous metapopulations

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We investigate the role of migration patterns on the spread of epidemics in complex networks. We enhance the SIS-diffusion model on metapopulations to a nonlinear diffusion. Specifically, individuals move randomly over the network but at a rate depending on the population of the departure patch. In the absence of epidemics, the migration-driven equilibrium is described by quantifying the total number of individuals living in heavily or lightly populated areas. Our analytical approach reveals that strengthening the migration from populous areas contains the infection at the early stage of the epidemic. Moreover, depending on the exponent of the nonlinear diffusion rate, epidemic outbreaks do not always occur in the most populated areas as one might expect ​
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