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Sci Rep ; 11(1): 17689, 2021 09 03.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34480062


COVID-19, a global pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 virus, has claimed millions of lives worldwide. Amid soaring contagion due to newer strains of the virus, it is imperative to design dynamic, spatiotemporal models to contain the spread of infection during future outbreaks of the same or variants of the virus. The reliance on existing prediction and contact tracing approaches on prior knowledge of inter- or intra-zone mobility renders them impracticable. We present a spatiotemporal approach that employs a network inference approach with sliding time windows solely on the date and number of daily infection numbers of zones within a geographical region to generate temporal networks capturing the influence of each zone on another. It helps analyze the spatial interaction among the hotspot or spreader zones and highly affected zones based on the flow of network contagion traffic. We apply the proposed approach to the daily infection counts of New York State as well as the states of USA to show that it effectively measures the phase shifts in the pandemic timeline. It identifies the spreaders and affected zones at different time points and helps infer the trajectory of the pandemic spread across the country. A small set of zones periodically exhibit a very high outflow of contagion traffic over time, suggesting that they act as the key spreaders of infection. Moreover, the strong influence between the majority of non-neighbor regions suggests that the overall spread of infection is a result of the unavoidable long-distance trips by a large number of people as opposed to the shorter trips at a county level, thereby informing future mitigation measures and public policies.

COVID-19 , Trazado de Contacto , Bases de Datos Factuales , Pandemias , COVID-19/epidemiología , COVID-19/transmisión , Humanos , New York/epidemiología , Salud Pública , SARS-CoV-2