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Pages 27-34
First published 2 September 2013

Simulating Sleeping Sickness: a two host agent-based model

Simon Alderton, Jason Noble


Agent-based modelling is useful for policy evaluation in fields such as epidemiology. The current paper presents a model of Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), or sleeping sickness: a disease which is becoming increasingly prominent due to recent epidemics. Associated medication is often scarce, whilst diagnosis through blood screening is not always effective. Current modelling methodology uses simple reaction-diffusion models to predict future epidemics, but this makes policy at the village level difficult to evaluate. Agent-based, object-oriented simulation provides a simple means of adding complexity to models of sleeping sickness, allowing the easy incorporation of spatial and vector data. We present an exploratory two-host agent-based simulation for humans and cattle, applying known values for sleeping sickness infection rate, before evaluating the model's policy implications and suggesting steps for future improvement.