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To facilitate reliable communications, efficacious signaling is of crucial importance for information dissemination control, especially in dynamic and infrastructureless networking paradigms such as mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs). Since data transportation much resembles the spread of epidemics, two signal distribution schemes, self healing and vaccine spreading, are proposed to analyze the information dynamics via epidemic modeling. We consider a more realistic scenario where the effect of signaling is proportional to the distribution time. Intuitively, early distribution leads to slight cure while late distribution fails to prevent the epidemic from outbreak. Optimal control theory and early-stage analysis are exploited to determine the optimal distribution time for timely control. Moreover, we demonstrate how signal distribution aids to minimize buffer occupancy in epidemic routing. This research therefore paves novel avenues to network defense and information dissemination.