A simple method is utilised to study and compare COVID-19 infection dynamics between countries based on curve fitting to publicly shared data of confirmed COVID-19 infections. The method was tested using data from 80 countries from 6 continents. We found that Johnson cumulative density functions (CDFs) were extremely well fitted to the data (R2 > 0.99) and that Johnson CDFs were much better fitted to the tails of the data than either the commonly used normal or lognormal CDFs. Fitted Johnson CDFs can be used to obtain basic parameters of the infection wave, such as the percentage of the population infected during an infection wave, the days of the start, peak and end of the infection wave, and the duration of the wave’s increase and decrease. These parameters can be easily interpreted biologically and used both for describing infection wave dynamics and in further statistical analysis. The usefulness of the parameters obtained was analysed with respect to the relation between the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, the population density, the percentage of the population infected during an infection wave, the starting day and the duration of the infection wave in the 80 countries. We found that all the above parameters were significantly associated with GDP per capita, but only the percentage of the population infected was significantly associated with population density. If used with caution, this method has a limited ability to predict the future trajectory and parameters of an ongoing infection wave.

Fuente: Scientific Reports

Published: 07 September 2021