To Matt Keeling,
I wish you had your email on your article.
With disease, there is the infectious period, and then each person, or other being, has their own immune system, which may or may not be able to deal with the disease.
Some disease, such as Epidemic Pleurodynia (Coxsackie Virus), are very infectious, however, once you get the illness, one gets life long immunity. The descriptions of Epidemic Pleurodynia are not so good, in reality, some people get this illness for a few days, while some get it for a few months. By taking indocin, most of the symptoms go away within the hour, however, they may return every few days to 10 days, for up to 3 even 4 months, and of course, taking the indocin will again relieve the symptoms. Then, when the disease finally leaves, the person is immune for the rest of their life. The Epstein barr virus, causes mono, and it may come last for a few months and then the immune system will kill it all. However, in some people, they get chronic epstein barr virus and they severe fatigue and weakness for the rest of their lives. As a physician, I have been in a typhoid epidemic and a cholera epidemic. Also have been in an epidemic of Epidemic Pleurodynia. Some patients get sub clinical cases of the disease, thus they get the disease, but have no symptoms. Sometimes these people can spread the disease, and not even know it (Typhoid mary). There is a famous woman in the LA area that is immune to AIDs, she gets the aids virus, and it has been proven, then in a few weeks, it is completely gone, and she is always asymptomatic.
There is a push for immune boosting agents, such as Dr Doug Brodie had developed and used with great service. See the Cancer Control Society web page. If one can get the immune system into high gear, a patient's own immune system can cure almost any illness.
It would be nice to have a model of which was easily set up for people, so that they can plug in some numbers and then take a look at the epidemic potential. To my understanding, the bubonic plague, which is endemic to the US South West, and I have seen patients with it, is not transferable from human to human. When they get the pneumonic plague, then a cough can spread the yersinia pestis via droplets and it is the pneumonic plague that can kill in hours.