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|Estimating the scale of COVID-19 Epidemic in the United States: Simulations Based on Air Traffic directly from Wuhan, China|
McGovern, Dermot P.B..
|Introduction: 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 air 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.|
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