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Mitigation (epidemiology)

\mɪtɪˈgeɪʃən\ \(ɛpəˌdɛmiˈɑləʤi)\

The slowing of the rate at which a disease is spread, usually with the aim of reducing the peak demand on healthcare systems and the protection of those most at risk from the disease.

Mitigation of an infectious disease aims to reduce the reproduction number (R0) to reduce the speed at which the disease spreads. This should result in the number of people infected by the disease being spread out over a longer time period, sometimes referred to as “flattening the curve” as a high peak of cases over a short time is flattened to a lower peak over a longer period. This is especially relevant if the disease is expected to increase demand for healthcare past the system’s capacity.

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