Publication details

Using real-time ascertainment rate estimate from infection and hospitalization dataset for modeling the spread of infectious disease: COVID-19 case study in the Czech Republic

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Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source PLoS ONE
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords COVID 19; Virus testing; Hospitals; Czech Republic; Hospitalizations; Infectious diseases; Respiratory infections; SARS CoV 2
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Description We present a novel approach to estimate the time-varying ascertainment rate in almost real-time, based on the surveillance of positively tested infectious and hospital admission data. We also address the age dependence of the estimate. The ascertainment rate estimation is based on the Bayes theorem. It can be easily calculated and used (i) as part of a mechanistic model of the disease spread or (ii) to estimate the unreported infections or changes in their proportion in almost real-time as one of the early-warning signals in case of undetected outbreak emergence. The paper also contains a case study of the COVID-19 epidemic in the Czech Republic. The case study demonstrates the usage of the ascertainment rate estimate in retrospective analysis, epidemic monitoring, explanations of differences between waves, usage in the national Anti-epidemic system, and monitoring of the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions on Czech nationwide surveillance datasets. The Czech data reveal that the probability of hospitalization due to SARS-CoV-2 infection for the senior population was 12 times higher than for the non-senior population in the monitored period from the beginning of March 2020 to the end of May 2021. In a mechanistic model of COVID-19 spread in the Czech Republic, the ascertainment rate enables us to explain the links between all basic compartments, including new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
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