A team of Italian and French scientists have developed a technology for predicting infectious growth. It more accurately determines when the next peak of infection occurs. A detailed description of the development was published in the Chaos magazine.
The new model was used to predict the increase in incidence in Italy. Prior to that, scientists did not take into account deviations in the level of infection spread. Therefore, they assumed that the jump in the number of infected occurs with a delay. But, according to the results of the study, in order to accurately determine the moment of infectious growth, it is impossible to start only from the average values. Variations in the spread of infection and the rate of recovery should be taken into account.
Predicting pandemic development has always been accompanied by difficulties, but, as the creators of the model say, since the advent of COVID-19, the quality of calculations has significantly decreased. Often the peak of the disease occurred earlier than planned. There are many reasons for this inaccuracy: lack of data and expertise, selective presentation of information and simple mistakes.
An important parameter in drawing up the trajectory along which the epidemic should develop was the base reproduction index R0. It shows the number of people that one person can infect.
“Even if the average infection rate from one person is below one, we can still predict the onset of a new wave of a pandemic due to fluctuations in parameters,” noted one of the authors of the study, Maxens Arutkin.