Estimating the scale of COVID-19 Epidemic in the United States: Simulations Based on Air Traffic directly from Wuhan, China [article]

Dalin Li, Jun Lv, Gregory Botwin, Jonathan Braun, Weihua Cao, Liming Li, Dermot P.B. McGovern
2020 medRxiv   pre-print
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection has been characterized by rapid spread and unusually large case clusters. It is important to have an estimate of the current state of COVID-19 epidemic in the U.S. to develop informed public health strategies. Methods: We estimated the potential scale of the COVID-19 epidemic (as of 03/01/2020) in the U.S. from cases imported directly from Wuhan area. We used simulations based on transmission dynamics parameters estimated from previous studies and
more » ... r traffic data from Wuhan to the U.S and deliberately built our model based on conservative assumptions. Detection and quarantine of individual COVID-19 cases in the U.S before 03/01/2020 were also taken into account. We. A SEIR model was used to simulate the growth of the number of infected individuals in Wuhan area and in the U.S. Results: With the most likely model, we estimated that there would be 9,484 infected cases (90%CI 2,054-24,241) as of 03/01/2020 if no intervention procedure had been taken to reduce the transmissibility in unidentified cases. Assuming current preventive procedures have reduced 25% of the transmissibility in unidentified cases, the number of infected cases would be 1,043 (90%CI 107-2,474). Conclusion: Our research indicates that, as of 03/01/2020., it is likely that there are already thousands of individuals in the US infected with SARS-CoV-2. Our model is dynamic and is available to the research community to further evaluate as the situation becomes clearer.
doi:10.1101/2020.03.06.20031880 fatcat:4uq5m67bbrgbzny3dud5udjixy