When coronavirus is not alone: Team of complexity scientists present ‘meme’ model for multiple diseases

Phys.org  February 24, 2020 From ‘fake news’ to innovative technologies, many contagions spread as complex contagions via a process of social reinforcement, where multiple exposures are distinct from prolonged exposure to a single source. Contrarily, biological agents such as Ebola or measles are typically thought to spread as simple contagions. An international team of researchers (USA -University of Vermont, Northeastern University, Canada) demonstrates that these different spreading mechanisms can have indistinguishable population-level dynamics once multiple contagions interact. In the social context, their results highlight the challenge of identifying and quantifying spreading mechanisms, such as social reinforcement, in a world where […]