Reconciling early-outbreak estimates of the basic reproductive number and its uncertainty: Framework and applications to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak: Reconciling early-outbreak estimates of the basic reproductive number and its uncertainty: Framework and applications to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak

Sang Woo Park, Benjamin M. Bolker, David Champredon, David J.D. Earn, Michael Li, Joshua S. Weitz, Bryan T. Grenfell, Jonathan Dushoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) emerged as a global threat in December 2019. As the epidemic progresses, disease modellers continue to focus on estimating the basic reproductive number R0 - the average number of secondary cases caused by a primary case in an otherwise susceptible population. The modelling approaches and resulting estimates of R0 during the beginning of the outbreak vary widely, despite relying on similar data sources. Here, we present a statistical framework for comparing and combining different estimates of R0 across a wide range of models by decomposing the basic reproductive number into three key quantities: the exponential growth rate, the mean generation interval and the generation-interval dispersion. We apply our framework to early estimates of R0 for the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, showing that many R0 estimates are overly confident. Our results emphasize the importance of propagating uncertainties in all components of R0, including the shape of the generation-interval distribution, in efforts to estimate R0 at the outset of an epidemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20200144
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Volume17
Issue number168
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering

Keywords

  • basic reproductive number
  • Bayesian multilevel model
  • COVID-19
  • generation interval
  • novel coronavirus
  • SARS-CoV-2

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Reconciling early-outbreak estimates of the basic reproductive number and its uncertainty: Framework and applications to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak: Reconciling early-outbreak estimates of the basic reproductive number and its uncertainty: Framework and applications to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this