In this study, we develop and present a deterministic model for the transmission dynamics of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus
(MRSA) among injection drug users. The model consists of non-injection drug users as well as low-and high-risk injection drug users (IDUs). The model further incorporates the movement of these individuals between large metro, suburban and rural areas. The model parameters were estimated by fitting the model to the 2008–2013 disease prevalence data for non-IDUs obtained from the Agency for Healthcare and Research and Quality (AHRQ), as well as the 2009–2013 Census Bureau data for the number of individuals migrating between three different counties in Kansas. Sensitivity analysis was implemented to determine the parameters with the most significant impact on the total number of infected individuals; the transmission probability, recovery rates, and positive behavioral change parameter for the subgroup have the most significant effect on the number of infected individuals. Furthermore, the sensitivity of the parameters in the different areas was the same when the areas are disconnected. When the areas are connected, the parameters in large-metro areas were the most sensitive, and the rural areas were least sensitive. The result shows that to effectively control the disease across the large metro, suburban and rural areas, it is best to focus on controlling both behavior and disease in the large metro area as this has a trickle-down effect to the other places. However, controlling behavior and disease at the same time in all the areas will lead to the elimination of the disease.
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