Early insight into Coronavirus spread in China

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Our AnyLogic partners in China obtained a paper relating to COVID-19 and permission to publish a translation.

One of the ways in which health authorities and academia research the spread and effects of viruses and diseases is with simulation modeling. The results can help inform decision making.

Writing this now, there is obviously a lot of interest surrounding the spread of the COVID-19, the coronavirus disease. The academic paper linked below was written during the early stages of the spread of the virus and disease in China, before the World Health Organization (WHO) had formally named them.

The authors of the paper used agent-based modeling to study how quickly a new virus can spread through a population. And, as you may well expect, how often people come into contact with each other is of major importance. (Dénes Csala of Lancaster University has a blog, with video and system dynamics model, that explores the significance of contact frequency and the rationale behind quarantine)

When confronted with a new virus, contact between people is often the main controllable factor and the results of the simulations highlight this. The research shows that the spread of the disease can end after a month depending on how person to person contact is controlled.

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By Siouxsie Wiles and Toby Morris

For more details and links to the data on which it is based, read the introduction and get the PDF or just go straight to the PDF [English], PDF [Portuguese]. Wuhan University’s Journal of New Medical Knowledge hosts the original Chinese text.

You may also be interested in our epidemiology simulation papers. For interactive and downloadable models related to healthcare, check our AnyLogic Cloud healthcare section.

Simulation-based modeling and machine learning can help provide insight and decision support when applied to challenges such as the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more about this in our webinar YouTube video Hybrid Dynamic Models in COVID-19 Planning and Beyond.

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