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A simple method to describe the COVID-19 trajectory and dynamics in any country based on Johnson cumulative density function fitting

Citation

Ćmiel, Adam; Ćmiel, Bogdan (2022), A simple method to describe the COVID-19 trajectory and dynamics in any country based on Johnson cumulative density function fitting, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.f4qrfj6w9

Abstract

A simple method is utilised to study and compare COVID-19 infection dynamics between countries based on curve fitting to publicly shared data of confirmed COVID-19 infections. The method was tested using data from 80 countries from 6 continents. We found that Johnson cumulative density functions (CDFs) were extremely well fitted to the data (R2 > 0.99) and that Johnson CDFs were much better fitted to the tails of the data than either the commonly used normal or lognormal CDFs. Fitted Johnson CDFs can be used to obtain basic parameters of the infection wave, such as the percentage of the population infected during an infection wave, the days of the start, peak and end of the infection wave, and the duration of the wave’s increase and decrease. These parameters can be easily interpreted biologically and used both for describing infection wave dynamics and in further statistical analysis. The usefulness of the parameters obtained was analysed with respect to the relation between the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, the population density, the percentage of the population infected during an infection wave, the starting day and the duration of the infection wave in the 80 countries. We found that all the above parameters were significantly associated with GDP per capita, but only the percentage of the population infected was significantly associated with population density. If used with caution, this method has a limited ability to predict the future trajectory and parameters of an ongoing infection wave.

Usage Notes

covid-data.csv contains the data used in Johnson CDF fitting to the cumulative epidemic curves in each of 80 countires and data on population, population density and GDP per capita for each country.

simulation-20k contains generated samples (cumulative epidemic curves) and fitted Johnson CDFs to them, which were used in sensitivity analysis of the Johnson CDF to data perturbation. Total number of infections (sample size) = 20 000.

simulation-50k contains generated samples (cumulative epidemic curves) and fitted Johnson CDFs to them, which were used in sensitivity analysis of the Johnson CDF to data perturbation. Total number of infections (sample size) = 50 000.

simulation-100k contains generated samples (cumulative epidemic curves) and fitted Johnson CDFs to them, which were used in sensitivity analysis of the Johnson CDF to data perturbation. Total number of infections (sample size) = 100 000.

Funding