Spatio-temporal spread of COVID-19: Comparison of the inhomogeneous SEPIR model and data from South Carolina

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Abstract

During the COVID-19 pandemic authorities have been striving to obtain reliable predictions for the spreading dynamics of the disease. We recently developed a multi-"sub-populations"(multi-compartments: susceptible, exposed, pre-symptomatic, infectious, recovered) model, that accounts for the spatial in-homogeneous spreading of the infection and shown, for a variety of examples, how the epidemic curves are highly sensitive to location of epicenters, non-uniform population density, and local restrictions. In the present work we test our model against real-life data from South Carolina during the period May 22 to July 22 (2020). During this period, minimal restrictions have been employed, which allowed us to assume that the local basic reproduction number is constant in time. We account for the non-uniform population density in South Carolina using data from NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), and predict the evolution of infection heat-maps during the studied period. Comparing the predicted heat-maps with those observed, we find high qualitative resemblance. Moreover, the Pearson's correlation coefficient is relatively high thus validating our model against real-world data. We conclude that the model accounts for the major effects controlling spatial in-homogeneous spreading of the disease. Inclusion of additional sub-populations (compartments), in the spirit of several recently developed models for COVID-19, can be easily performed within our mathematical framework.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0268995
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume17
Issue number6 June
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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