Modifying the network-based stochastic SEIR model to account for quarantine: an application to COVID-19

Chris Groendyke, Adam Combs
2021 Epidemiologic Methods  
Objectives: Diseases such as SARS-CoV-2 have novel features that require modifications to the standard network-based stochastic SEIR model. In particular, we introduce modifications to this model to account for the potential changes in behavior patterns of individuals upon becoming symptomatic, as well as the tendency of a substantial proportion of those infected to remain asymptomatic. Methods: Using a generic network model where every potential contact exists with the same common probability,
more » ... we conduct a simulation study in which we vary four key model parameters (transmission rate, probability of remaining asymptomatic, and the mean lengths of time spent in the exposed and infectious disease states) and examine the resulting impacts on various metrics of epidemic severity, including the effective reproduction number. We then consider the effects of a more complex network model. Results: We find that the mean length of time spent in the infectious state and the transmission rate are the most important model parameters, while the mean length of time spent in the exposed state and the probability of remaining asymptomatic are less important. We also find that the network structure has a significant impact on the dynamics of the disease spread. Conclusions: In this article, we present a modification to the network-based stochastic SEIR epidemic model which allows for modifications to the underlying contact network to account for the effects of quarantine. We also discuss the changes needed to the model to incorporate situations where some proportion of the individuals who are infected remain asymptomatic throughout the course of the disease.
doi:10.1515/em-2020-0030 fatcat:fh73dp6murgtbh3d5knzgbscqq