African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious hemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs. ASF has led to major economic losses and adverse impacts on livelihoods of stakeholders involved in the pork food system in many European and Asian countries. While the epidemiology of ASF virus (ASFV) is fairly well understood, there is neither any effective treatment nor vaccine. In this paper, we propose a novel method to model the spread of ASFV in China by integrating the data of pork import/export, transportation networks, and pork distribution centers. We first empirically analyze the overall spatiotemporal patterns of ASFV spread and conduct extensive experiments to evaluate the efficacy of a number of geographic distance measures. These empirical analyses of ASFV spread within China indicate that the first occurrence of ASFV has not been purely dependent on the geographical distance from existing infected regions. Instead, the pork supply-demand patterns have played an important role. Predictions based on a new distance measure achieve better performance in predicting ASFV spread among Chinese provinces and thus have the potential to enable the design of more effective control interventions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Mathematical Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Applied Mathematics