Sumary of Excess mortality reveals infection speed in COVID-19 is low with seasonal infection patterns and escape variants:
- It can only be calculated for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in populations before vaccinations, widespread infections, or social distancing measures, leading to a limited window for datasets.
- The estimated R0 varies greatly, with results ranging from 1.95 to 6.49. Researchers from the University of Wurzburg in Germany have been attempting to create a new method for determining the R0 using excess mortality data.
- Study: Estimation of R0 for the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Germany from Excess Mortality.
- The study The researchers used the German Robert Koch Institute (RKI) website to determine the number of cases, deaths, and PCR tests.
- Excess deaths were calculated from the data from the Federal Statistical Office, while Apple provided mobility data.
- R0 was calculated using a freely available R package, using an exponential growth method and simulating the mean serial interval with a gamma distribution equal to 4.7. Weekly incidence of excess mortality was converted to daily incidences where necessary, again using gamma distribution.
- Only data up to and including March 15th, 2020, could be used, as after this point, many Germans had begun social distancing, even before official guidelines were put into place.
- The scientists fitted epidemiological datasets provided RKI to gamma distributions and determined the differences between the peaks of the curves.