Estimating Unreported COVID-19 Cases in the United States Based on Time-Varying SIR Model

13 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2020 Last revised: 21 Sep 2020

See all articles by Lingbo Liu

Lingbo Liu

Wuhan University - School of Urban Design

Shuming Bao

China Data Center

Tao Hu

Harvard University

Hao Wu

Wuhan University - School of Urban Design

Zhenghong Peng

Wuhan University - School of Urban Design

Ru Wang

Wuhan University - School of Urban Design

Date Written: September 12, 2020

Abstract

Background The potential unreported infection may impair and mislead policymaking´╝îand the contemporary spread of COVID-19 varies in different counties of the United States. It is necessary to estimate the cases that may be underestimated based on county-level data to take better countermeasures against COVID-19. We suggested taking time-varying SIR models with unreported infection rates (UIR)to estimate the factual COVID-19 cases in the United States.

Methods SIR integrated with unreported infection rates (SIRu) of fixed time effect and SIR with time-varying parameters (tvSIRu)were applied to estimate and compare the value of transmission rate(TR), UIR, and infection fatality rate (IFR) based on US county-level COVID-19 data.

Results Based on US county-level COVID-19 data from January 22 (T1) to August 20 (T212) in 2020, SIRu was first tested and verified by a general OLS regression. The further regression of SIRu at the country-level showed that the average values of TR, UIR, and IFR were 0.034,19.5, 0.51% respectively. The range of IR, UIR, IFR of all states ranged were 0.007-0.157 (mean=0.048) ,7.31-185.6 (mean=38.89), and 0.04%-2.22% (mean=0.22%). Among time-varying transmission rate equations, the power function showed better fitness, which indicated a decline in TR decreasing from 227.58 (T1) to 0.022 (T212). The general equation of tvSIRu showed that both the UIR and IFR were gradually increasing, wherein, the UIR has an estimate of 9.1(95%CI = 5.7-14.0), and IFR was 0.70% (0.52%-0.95%) at T212.

Interpretation Despite the decline in TR and IFR, the UIR of the United States is still on the rise, which had been supposed to decrease with sufficient tests or improved countersues. The US medical system may be largely affected by severe cases in the rapid spread of COVDI-19.

Note: Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51978535); Wuhan University Experiment Technology Project Funding.

Declaration of Interest: None to declare

Keywords: SIR, Time-varying parameter, unreported infection rat, Infection fatality rate, COVID-19

Suggested Citation

Liu, Lingbo and Bao, Shuming and Hu, Tao and Wu, Hao and Peng, Zhenghong and Wang, Ru, Estimating Unreported COVID-19 Cases in the United States Based on Time-Varying SIR Model (September 12, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3691372 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3691372

Lingbo Liu (Contact Author)

Wuhan University - School of Urban Design ( email )

SCHOOL OF URBAN DESIGN
WUHAN UNIVERSITY
WUHAN, Hubei 430072
China
68773062 (Phone)

Shuming Bao

China Data Center ( email )

330 Packard St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
United States
734-647-9610 (Phone)
734-763-0335 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://chinadatacenter.org

Tao Hu

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Hao Wu

Wuhan University - School of Urban Design ( email )

SCHOOL OF URBAN DESIGN
WUHAN UNIVERSITY
WUHAN, Hubei 430072
China

Zhenghong Peng

Wuhan University - School of Urban Design ( email )

SCHOOL OF URBAN DESIGN
WUHAN UNIVERSITY
WUHAN, Hubei 430072
China

Ru Wang

Wuhan University - School of Urban Design ( email )

SCHOOL OF URBAN DESIGN
WUHAN UNIVERSITY
WUHAN, Hubei 430072
China

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