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1.
Epidemiol Infect ; 150: e120, 2022 03 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1908043

ABSTRACT

We propose that postal Change-of-Address (CoA) data can be used to monitor/predict likely second wave caseloads in viral infections around urban epicentres. To illustrate the idea, we focus on the tri-state area consisting of New York City (NYC) and surrounding counties in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut States. NYC was an early epicentre of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, with a first peak in daily cases in early April 2020, followed by the second peak in May/June 2020. Using CoA data from the US Postal Service (USPS), we show that, despite a quarantine mandate, there was a large net movement of households from NYC to surrounding counties in the period April-June 2020. This net outward migration of households was strongly correlated with both the timing and the number of cases in the second peaks in Covid-19 cases in the surrounding counties. The timing of the second peak was also correlated with the distance of the county from NYC, suggesting that this was a directed flow and not random diffusion. Our analysis shows that CoA data is a useful method in tracking the spread of an infectious pandemic agent from urban epicentres.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Coenzyme A , Humans , New York City/epidemiology , Quarantine
2.
PLoS One ; 16(7): e0255212, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1332002

ABSTRACT

Inferring the impact of climate upon the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has been confounded by variability in testing, unknown disease introduction rates, and changing weather. Here we present a data model that accounts for dynamic testing rates and variations in disease introduction rates. We apply this model to data from Colombia, whose varied and seasonless climate, central port of entry, and swift, centralized response to the COVID-19 pandemic present an opportune environment for assessing the impact of climate factors on the spread of COVID-19. We observe strong attenuation of transmission in climates with sustained daily temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius and simultaneous mean relative humidity below 78%, with outbreaks occurring at high humidity even where the temperature is high. We hypothesize that temperature and relative humidity comodulate the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 within respiratory droplets.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , COVID-19/virology , Climate , Colombia , Humans , Humidity , Pandemics/prevention & control , Temperature , Weather
3.
Res Sq ; 2020 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-903186

ABSTRACT

Background : As the SARS-Cov-2/Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world, it is important to understanding the characteristics of its spread and possible correlates for control to develop strategies of response. Methods: Here we show how a simple Susceptible-Infective-Recovered (SIR) model applied to data for eight European countries and the United Kingdom (UK) can be used to forecast the descending limb (post-peak) of confirmed cases and deaths as a function of time, and predict the duration of the pandemic once it has peaked, by estimating and fixing parameters using only characteristics of the ascending limb and the magnitude of the first peak. Results: The predicted and actual case fatality ratio, or number of deaths per million population from the start of the pandemic to when daily deaths number less than five for the first time, was lowest in Norway (predicted: 44 5 deaths/million; actual: 36 deaths/million) and highest for the United Kingdom (predicted: 578 +/- 65 deaths/million; actual 621 deaths/million). The inferred pandemic characteristics separated into two distinct groups: those that are largely invariant across countries, and those that are highly variable. Among the former is the infective period, T L = 16.3 2.7 days, the average time between contacts, T R = 3.8+/- 0.5 days and the average number of contacts while infective R = 4.4 +/- 0.5. In contrast, there is a highly variable time lag T D between the peak in the daily number of confirmed cases and the peak in the daily number of deaths, ranging from lows of T D = 2,4 days for Denmark and Italy respectively, to highs of T D = 12, 15 for Germany and Norway respectively. The mortality fraction, or ratio of deaths to confirmed cases, was also highly variable, ranging from low values 3%, 5% and 5% for Norway, Denmark and Germany respectively, to high values of 18%, 20% and 21% for Sweden, France, and the UK respectively. The probability of mortality rather than recovery was a significant correlate of the duration of the pandemic, defined as the time from 12/31/2019 to when the number of daily deaths fell below 5. Finally, we observed a small but detectable effect of average temperature on the probability of infection per contact, with higher temperatures associated with lower infectivity. Conclusions: Our simple model captures the dynamics of the initial stages of the pandemic, from its exponential beginning to the first peak and beyond, with remarkable precision. As with all epidemiological analyses, unanticipated behavioral changes will result in deviations between projection and observation. This is abundantly clear for the current pandemic. Nonetheless, accurate short-term projections are possible, and the methodology we present is a useful addition to the epidemiologist's armamentarium. Our predictions assume that control measures such as lockdown, social distancing, use of masks etc. remain the same post-peak as before peak. Consequently, deviations from our predictions are a measure of the extent to which loosening of control measures have impacted case-loads and deaths since the first peak and initial decline in daily cases and deaths. Our findings suggest that the two key parameters to control and reduce the impact of a developing pandemic are the infective period and the mortality fraction, which are achievable by early case identification, contact tracing and quarantine (which would reduce the former) and improving quality of care for identified cases (which would reduce the latter).

4.
medRxiv ; 2020 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-900736

ABSTRACT

Understanding the characteristics of the SARS-Cov-2/Covid-19 pandemic is central to developing control strategies. Here we show how a simple Susceptible-Infective-Recovered (SIR) model applied to data for eight European countries and the United Kingdom (UK) can be used to forecast the descending limb (post-peak) of confirmed cases and deaths as a function of time, and predict the duration of the pandemic once it has peaked, by estimating and fixing parameters using only characteristics of the ascending limb and the magnitude of the first peak. As with all epidemiological analyses, unanticipated behavioral changes will result in deviations between projection and observation. This is abundantly clear for the current pandemic. Nonetheless, accurate short-term projections are possible, and the methodology we present is a useful addition to the epidemiologist's armamentarium. Since our predictions assume that control measures such as lockdown, social distancing, use of masks etc. remain the same post-peak as before peak, deviations from our predictions are a measure of the extent to which loosening of control measures have impacted case-loads and deaths since the first peak and initial decline in daily cases and deaths. The predicted and actual case fatality ratio, or number of deaths per million population from the start of the pandemic to when daily deaths number less than five for the first time, was lowest in Norway (pred: 44 ± 5 deaths/million; actual: 36 deaths/million) and highest for the United Kingdom (pred: 578 +/- 65 deaths/million; actual 621 deaths/million). The inferred pandemic characteristics separated into two distinct groups: those that are largely invariant across countries, and those that are highly variable. Among the former is the infective period, T L ( T L ¯ = 16.3 ± 2.7  days ) ; the average time between contacts, T R ( T R ¯ = 3.8 ± 0.5 ) days and the average number of contacts while infective, R ( R ¯ = 4.4 ± 0.5 ) . In contrast, there is a highly variable time lag T D between the peak in the daily number of confirmed cases and the peak in the daily number of deaths, ranging from a low of T D = 2,4 days for Denmark and Italy respectively, to highs of T D = 12, 15 for Germany and Norway respectively. The mortality fraction, or ratio of deaths to confirmed cases, was also highly variable, ranging from low values 3%, 5% and 5% for Norway, Denmark and Germany respectively, to high values of 18%, 20% and 21% for Sweden, France, and the UK respectively. The probability of mortality rather than recovery was a significant correlate of the duration of the pandemic, defined as the time from 12/31/2019 to when the number of daily deaths fell below 5. Finally, we observed a small but detectable effect of average temperature on the probability α of infection per contact, with higher temperatures associated with lower infectivity. Policy implications of our findings are also briefly discussed.

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