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Evaluation of Undetected Cases During the COVID-19 Epidemic in Austria

17 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2020

See all articles by Claire Rippinger

Claire Rippinger

DWH Simulation Services - DEXHELPP

Martin Bicher

DWH Simulation Services - DEXHELPP

Christoph Urach

DWH Simulation Services - DEXHELPP

Dominik Brunmeir

DWH Simulation Services - DEXHELPP

Günther Zauner

DWH Simulation Services - DEXHELPP

Gabi Sroczynski

UMIT-The Health & Life Sciences University - Institute of Public Health

B. Jahn

UMIT-The Health & Life Sciences University - Institute of Public Health

Nikolai Mühlberger

UMIT-The Health & Life Sciences University - Institute of Public Health

Uwe Siebert

UMIT-The Health & Life Sciences University - Institute of Public Health

Niki Popper

DWH Simulation Services - DEXHELPP

More...

Abstract

Background: Knowing the number of undetected cases of COVID-19 is important for a better understanding of the spread of the disease. This study analyses the temporal dynamic of detected vs. undetected cases to provide guidance for the interpretation of prevalence and incidence studies performed to estimate the detection rate.

Methods: We used an agent-based model to evaluate assumptions on the detection probability ranging from 0·1 to 0·9. For each general detection probability, we derived age-dependent detection probabilities and calibrated the model to reproduce the epidemic wave of COVID-19 in Austria from March 2020 to June 2020. We categorized infected individuals into presymptomatic, symptomatic unconfirmed, confirmed and never detected to observe the simulated dynamic of the detected and undetected cases.

Findings: The calculation of the age-dependent detection probability ruled values lower than 0·4 as most likely. Furthermore, the proportion of undetected cases depends strongly on the dynamic of the epidemic wave: during the initial upswing, the undetected cases account for a major part of all infected individuals, whereas their share decreases around the peak of the confirmed cases.

Interpretation: The results of prevalence studies performed to determine the detection rate of COVID-19 patients should always be interpreted with regard to the current dynamic of the epidemic wave. Applying the method proposed in our analysis, the prevalence study performed in Austria in April 2020 could indicate a detection rate of 0·13, instead of the prevalent ratio of 0·29 between detected and estimated undetected cases at that time.

Funding: This study has been partially funded by The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) Covid19 Emergency Call, the WWTF-COVID-19 Rapid Response Funding, the Medizinisch-Wissenschaftlicher Fonds des Bürgermeisters der Bundeshauptstadt Wien, and the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM) Covid-19 Decision Modeling Initiative.

Declaration of Interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Keywords: COVID-19, Simulation, Detection, agent-based

Suggested Citation

Rippinger, Claire and Bicher, Martin and Urach, Christoph and Brunmeir, Dominik and Zauner, Günther and Sroczynski, Gabi and Jahn, B. and Mühlberger, Nikolai and Siebert, Uwe and Popper, Niki, Evaluation of Undetected Cases During the COVID-19 Epidemic in Austria. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3689596 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3689596

Claire Rippinger (Contact Author)

DWH Simulation Services - DEXHELPP ( email )

Austria

Martin Bicher

DWH Simulation Services - DEXHELPP ( email )

Austria

Christoph Urach

DWH Simulation Services - DEXHELPP ( email )

Austria

Dominik Brunmeir

DWH Simulation Services - DEXHELPP ( email )

Austria

Günther Zauner

DWH Simulation Services - DEXHELPP ( email )

Austria

Gabi Sroczynski

UMIT-The Health & Life Sciences University - Institute of Public Health ( email )

Eduard-Wallnöfer-Zentrum 1
Hall, Tirol 6060
Austria

B. Jahn

UMIT-The Health & Life Sciences University - Institute of Public Health

Eduard-Wallnöfer-Zentrum 1
Hall, Tirol 6060
Austria

Nikolai Mühlberger

UMIT-The Health & Life Sciences University - Institute of Public Health ( email )

Eduard-Wallnöfer-Zentrum 1
Hall, Tirol 6060
Austria

Uwe Siebert

UMIT-The Health & Life Sciences University - Institute of Public Health ( email )

Eduard-Wallnöfer-Zentrum 1
Hall, Tirol 6060
Austria

Niki Popper

DWH Simulation Services - DEXHELPP ( email )

Austria

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