Abstract We consider the long-time behaviour of a West Nile virus (WNv) model consisting of a reaction–diffusion system with free boundaries. Such a model describes the spreading of WNv with the free boundary representing the expanding front of the infected region, which is a time-dependent interval $[g(t), h(t)]$ in the model (Lin and Zhu, Spatial spreading model and dynamics of West Nile virus in birds and mosquitoes with free boundary. J. Math. Biol. 75, 1381–1409, 2017). The asymptotic spreading speed of the front has been determined in Wang et al. (Spreading speed for a West Nile virus model with free boundary. J. Math. Biol. 79, 433–466, 2019) by making use of the associated semi-wave solution, namely $\lim _{t\to \infty } h(t)/t=\lim _{t\to \infty }[\!-g(t)/t]=c_\nu$ , with $c_\nu$ the speed of the semi-wave solution. In this paper, by employing new techniques, we significantly improve the estimate in Wang et al. (Spreading speed for a West Nile virus model with free boundary. J. Math. Biol. 79, 433–466, 2019): we show that $h(t)-c_\nu t$ and $g(t)+c_\nu t$ converge to some constants as $t\to \infty$ , and the solution of the model converges to the semi-wave solution. The results also apply to a wide class of analogous Ross–MacDonold epidemic models.

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