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Pre-symptomatic Transmission in the Evolution of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Liang Tian.
Xuefei Li.
Fei Qi.
Qian-Yuan Tang.
Viola Tang.
Jiang Liu.
Xingye Cheng.
Xuanxuan Li.
Yingchen Shi.
Haiguang Liu.
Lei-Han Tang.
Acceso Abierto
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), has infected more than 170,000 people globally and resulted in over 6,000 deaths over a three-month period. Contrary to mainstream views, there is growing literature on pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals contributing significantly to the disease outbreak. Several recent studies on serial infection yielded a mean interval of around 4 days, shorter than the mean symptom onset time of 5-7 days, and negative serial interval in more than 10% of the cases. These observations highlight the urgent need to quantify the pre-symptomatic transmission for adequate global response. In this paper, we develop an epidemic model driven by pre-symptomatic transmission. Within the model construct, the infectiousness of a viral carrier on a given day is identified with their symptom onset probability, which we characterise through extensive studies of the clinical literature. The well-known Lotka-Euler estimating equation can then be invoked to relate the daily growth rate $lambda$ of the epidemic with the basic reproduction number $R_0$. We applied the disease spreading model to epidemic development in affected provinces across China following the Wuhan lockdown on January 23, 2020. The remarkable three-phase universal pattern can be well-captured by the model. Despite its simplicity, the model allows synthesis of data from diverse sources to form a quantitative understanding of key mechanisms that drive or contain the disease spreading, and to make informed decisions to bring the pandemic under control.
Appears in Collections:Artículos científicos

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