Abstract for: Modeling the Chikungunya Virus: A System Dynamics Approach

The Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-borne viral infection of humans that, although rarely fatal, can cause fever, severe joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, and occasionally a rash. System dynamics modeling is a highly applicable approach that develops a perspective and a set of conceptual tools to understand the structure and dynamics of complex systems such as the spread of CHIKV. Using a rigorous, iterative modeling method, both structure and dynamics are translated into a formal computer simulation that models the complex behavior of the system. This simulation captures the systems key variables and their interactions and allows for the design and evaluation of policies associated with combatting the spread of CHIKV. In order to most accurately model the spread of CHIKV, a variety of applicable real world data is initially analyzed and calibrated to determine key model parameters and variable relationships. These parameters and relationships are then formally incorporated into the system dynamics model and can be continually refined as new data or additional information is learned about the spread of CHIKV.