Under Review

Self-Limiting Factors in Pandemics and Multi-Disease Syndemics

Existential Risk Global Catastrophic Biological Risk GCBR Pandemic Syndemic

Cite as:

David Manheim (2018). Self-Limiting Factors in Pandemics and Multi-Disease Syndemics. RESEARCHERS.ONE, https://www.researchers.one/article/2018-10-5.


The potential for an infectious disease outbreak that is much worse than those which have been observed in human history, whether engineered or natural, has been the focus of significant concern in biosecurity. Fundamental dynamics of disease spread make such outbreaks much less likely than they first appear. Here we present a slightly modified formulation of the typical SEIR model that illustrates these dynamics more clearly, and shows the unlikely cases where concern may still be warranted. This is then applied to an extreme version of proposed pandemic risk, multi-disease syndemics, to show that (absent much clearer reasons for concern) the suggested dangers are overstated.