A Tempo-Geographic Analysis of Global COVID-19 Epidemic Outside of China
29 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2020More...
Background: Understanding the global epidemic trends, geographic distribution, and transmission patterns of COVID-19 contributes to providing timely information for the global response of the epidemic. This study aims to understand the global pandemic geo-spatial patterns and trends and identify new epicenters requiring urgent attention.
Methods: Data on COVID-19 between 31st Dec. 2019 and 8th Mar. 2020 were included. The epidemic trend was analyzed using joinpoint regressions; the growth of affected countries was by descriptive analysis; and the global distribution and transmission trend by spatial analysis.
Findings: The number of new cases in the regions outside of China slowly increased before 24th Feb. and rapidly accelerated after 24th Feb. Compared to China, other affected countries experienced a longer duration of a slow increase at the early stage and a rapid growth at the latter stages. The first apparent increase in the number of affected countries occurred from 23rd Jan to 1st Feb, where most of the first confirmed cases originated from China; the second apparent increase started from 25th Feb., where the majority originated from Italy and Iran. The geographic distribution changed from single-center (13th Jan. - 20th Feb.) to multi-centers pattern (20th Feb. – 14th Mar.) as South Korea, Italy, and Iran became epidemic centers.
Interpretation: The joinpoint regression and geospatial analysis indicated a multi-center pandemic of COVID-19. Strategies to prevent the new multiple center as well as prevention ongoing transmission are needed.
Funding Statement: This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFE0103800), NIMH (R34MH119963), National Science and Technology Major Project (2018ZX10101-001-001-003), and the National Nature Science Foundation of China (81903371).
Declaration of Interests: None.
Ethics Approval Statement: Missing.
Keywords: COVID-19; geo-spatial analysis; pandemics; Global transmission trend
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