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      COVID-19: Monitoring the propagation of the first waves of the pandemic

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          Abstract

          Introduction: A phenomenological approach is proposed to monitor the propagation of the first waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

          Method: A large set of data collected during the first months of 2020 is compiled into a series of semi-logarithmic plots, for a selection of 32 countries from the five continents.

          Results: Three regimes are identified in the propagation of an epidemic wave: a pre-epidemic regime 1, an exponential-growth regime 2, and a resorption regime 3. A two-parameters scaling of the first-wave death variation reported in China is used to fit the first-wave data reported in other countries. Comparison is made between the propagation of the pandemic in different countries, which are classified into four groups, from Group A where the pandemic first waves were contained efficiently, to Group D where the pandemic first waves widely spread. All Asian countries considered here, where fast and efficient measures have been applied, are in Group A. Group D is composed of Western-European countries and the United States of America (USA), where late decisions and confused political communication (pandemic seriousness, protection masks, herd immunity, etc.) led to a large number of deaths.

          Discussion: The threat of resurging epidemic waves following a lift of lockdown measures is discussed. The results obtained in Asian countries from group A, as Hong Kong and South Korea, are highlighted, and the measures taken there are presented as examples that other countries may follow.

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          Most cited references 13

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          Herd Immunity: History, Theory, Practice

           Paul E M Fine (1993)
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            Covid-19 and the Stiff Upper Lip — The Pandemic Response in the United Kingdom

             David Hunter (2020)
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              Individual variation in susceptibility or exposure to SARS-CoV-2 lowers the herd immunity threshold

              As severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spreads, the susceptible subpopulation is depleted causing the incidence of new cases to decline. Variation in individual susceptibility or exposure to infection exacerbates this effect. Individuals that are more susceptible or more exposed tend to be infected earlier, depleting the susceptible subpopulation of those who are at higher risk of infection. This selective depletion of susceptibles intensifies the deceleration in incidence. Eventually, susceptible numbers become low enough to prevent epidemic growth or, in other words, the herd immunity threshold (HIT) is reached. Although estimates vary, simple calculations suggest that herd immunity to SARSCoV-2 requires 60–70% of the population to be immune. By fitting epidemiological models that allow for heterogeneity to SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks across the globe, we show that variation in susceptibility or exposure to infection reduces these estimates. Accurate measurements of heterogeneity are therefore of paramount importance in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                fopen
                https://www.4open-sciences.org
                4open
                4open
                EDP Sciences
                2557-0250
                05 June 2020
                05 June 2020
                2020
                : 3
                : ( publisher-idID: fopen/2020/01 )
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Laboratoire National des Champs Magnétiques Intenses, CNRS-UPS-INSA-UGA, , 143 Avenue de Rangueil, 31400 Toulouse, France,
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: william.knafo@ 123456lncmi.cnrs.fr
                Article
                fopen200017
                10.1051/fopen/2020005
                © W. Knafo, Published by EDP Sciences, 2020

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 9, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 59, Pages: 15
                Product
                Self URI (journal page): https://www.4open-sciences.org/
                Categories
                Life Sciences - Medicine
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                4open 2020, 3, 5
                2020
                2020
                2020

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