Questions tagged [epidemiology]

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1answer
20 views

How often is SARS-CoV-2 RNA detected in plasma, for patients otherwise diagnosed?

I'm curious how sensitive the earliest retrospective diagnoses for SARS-CoV-2 (in China) might be. According to the paper which put the earliest case to December 1, 2019 that retrospective diagnosis ...
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Was there a clear effect attributable to FFP2 (~N95) mask mandates in Germany in crowded environments (shops, buses, etc.)?

Back in January or so, Bavaria at least mandated FFP2 (roughly equivalent to US N95) masks be worn in shops, buses and presumably similar environments. At least Berlin followed suit some months later ...
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How is "absolute risk of death" from covid (or something else) usually defined for infectious diseases?

There's been some discussion on Twitter regarding whether a BBC article is misleading or not. The article says: Researchers estimate that 25 deaths in a population of some 12 million children in ...
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Does half a gram/dl Hb increase have clinical significance?

In relation to an Indian paper that attributed this observed change to a mask mandate (also being discussed on Skeptics) Mean Hb of blood donors in Group 2 (15.01 ± 1.1 g/dl) was higher than Group1 (...
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What should you put on your face if you want to protect both yourself and others?

Surgical masks protect other people but provide almost no protection for the wearer (see https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/sep/14/facebook-posts/face-masks-wildfire-smoke-protection-and-covid-...
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Why does an infectious disease move into an area, and then out of it? [closed]

Conventional wisdom says that when there's "a bug going around", such as the common cold, you can isolate and wait it out – it will eventually stop spreading through the community. To what ...
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43 views

How does knowing how COVID-19 originated help prevent future pandemics?

There's been an ongoing effort to investigate the origins of COVID-19. The motivation is allegedly to prevent another pandemic from happening. How does knowing how COVID-19 originated prevent another ...
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Do vaccinated people not have zero risk of mortality by Covid 19?

This video by Vox says people who are vaccinated have zero risk of mortality by Covid 19. But NDTV reports (at 00:21 and again at 07:53 in the video) that even fully vaccinated 8 frontline medical ...
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As epidemiological countermeasures, why are flights cancelled and surface transport is not?

An early measure to avoid the spread of COVID-19 has been the cancellations of flights from infected zones, e.g.: https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-spain-flights/corrected-spain-...
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What is the historical or scientific basis for concern about COVID vaccines and pregnant women and their babies?

There's a lot of talk about whether COVID vaccines are safe for pregnant women and their fetuses. Current guidelines, while mentioning that there's little data, suggest that they are safe. However, I'...
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Is a nightly curfew an effective intervention strategy for limiting the spread of an infectious disease?

The governing bodies of several geographic areas hit by disease outbreaks will sometimes impose a nightly curfew on their citizens, restricting or limiting the ability of their citizens from going ...
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304 views

Peer-reviewed IFR estimates for (seasonal) influenza?

It seems every journalist has his favorite expert that they can quote to whip up a CFR or IFR number for influenza. (For example, a question here [which no longer has this information] said that the ...
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Does the number of contacts people have follow some well known distribution?

In the context of contact tracing, I tried to find whether the number of contacts people have follows some well known distribution, e.g. Gaussian, Zipf etc. But I'm coming up empty. Were any such ...
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24 views

Number of subsequent infections per case / overdispersion of COVID-19

I am aware that SARS-CoV-2 shows overdispersion, that is that many infected people cause no subsequent infections, but a small number of people cause very many infections (superspreading). The best ...
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1answer
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Do health departments inform hospitals/doctors of disease trends?

For example, during a common cold epidemic, do doctors get reported beforehand that there is a trend going on so that they can use this information to suspect diagnosis? Does every health care unit ...
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29 views

Is there a term for "average time to transmit" in epidemiology?

The effective reproduction number gives us the average number of people an infected person will transmit a disease to. Though Rt doesn't include a time dimension, perhaps related would be the average ...
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For fighting COVID19, Why we give the body the RNA and not give the body the protien itself? [duplicate]

If I understand things correctly the popular COVID 19 vaccine gives the body RNA that teaches the body cells to create a protein that looks like the virus. And then the body learns to fight against it....
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How can "new viruses" exist? [closed]

Background: I have no background in medical sciences, and this is something I've been thinking about since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic; please ELI5 your answer if you can. Thanks! We estimate ...
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If HCoV-NL63 also binds to ACE2 (like SARS and SARS-CoV-2) why doesn't it cause a more severe disease (on one hand) or a pandemic (on the other)?

By all accounts the "common cold" virus HCoV-NL63 although much further away (genetically) from SARS and SARS-CoV-2 it actually uses the same ACE2 receptor for entry (or at least the S1A ...
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How old is the suppression/mitigation distinction in epidemiology?

The question is in the title, really. I have seen this distinction being made since March this year in regards to COVID-19 strategies, but how long have epidemiologists used this categorization? Is it ...
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Solve SIR in continuous or discrete form, which one is more accurate in epidemiology sense

Oftentimes, SIR model is used in epidemiology to model infection. Based on the model form, the original SIR model is continuous, and strictly should be solved with continous ode solver. However, it ...
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What are the standard demographic equations for modeling virus spread?

I am wondering what the set of differential equations is that is used to model how viruses spread in a population? I am also wondering how epidemiologists get around the highly irregular shape of a ...
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1answer
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Can cancer incidence rates, calculated from the general population, be used in primary care?

I calculated incidence rates (IR) for colorectal cancer using an age-period-cohort model. Is it useful for GPs to use such age, gender and anatomical sub-site specific IRs as a baseline risk, during ...
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8 views

COVID19 PCR Nasal Swab incubation period

As I understand the lingo: The time from exposure to symptom onset(known as the incubation period) is thought to be three to 14 days, though symptoms typically appear within four or five days after ...
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Could using machine-intelligence to determine prioritisation for vaccine rollout program be effective

The rollout of vaccination programs tends to be based on a given set of rules (advice) devised by government UK example. Such a rule-set are generally limited in complexity in order to be consistently ...
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1answer
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Definition of 'transmission onset' in this paper

I am a nonmedical scientist trying to make sense of medical terms that were involved in the following study: Transmission onset distribution of COVID-19. I am attaching a link to the paper for your ...
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1answer
67 views

Are there independent studies on the efficacy of vaccines?

Is there a collection, meta analysis or review of significant, independent studies that prove the efficacy of vaccinations? I am in discussion with a anti-vaccinationist who claims that the efficacy ...
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Why do we seemingly not know how COVID will behave during winter, when it was winter in much of the world?

(Not sure if this is the right SE for this question) Why COVID Outbreaks Could Worsen This Winter Baker has tried to tease apart the effect of climate on the seasonal pattern of cases during the ...
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UK - Sweden Covid-19 Comparison

I compared Covid-19 data on the 17th of October 2020, using this source: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html UK population = 66650000 Uk cases = 708297 UK deaths = 43669 66650000 / 708297 = 1 ...
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For how long can you wear a surgical mask? [closed]

I used to think that you can wear a mask for up to two hours, regardless of how many times you put it on and take it off. This guide says you can wear it for up to five times without any ...
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39 views

How effective are reused surgical masks?

Let's say I have used a surgical mask multiple times. And say I left it on a safe place, untouched, for three days which is the longest that viable SARS-CoV-2 has been found on different materials (...
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How did WHO estimate the number of suspected worldwide COVID-19 cases?

A couple of days ago World Health Organization said that around 780 million people worldwide (or one in ten people worldwide) are suspected to have had COVID-19. (One in 10 worldwide may have had ...
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Are lockdowns good or bad? What is the scientific consensus, if any? [closed]

I thought doctors support lockdown measures and populist politicians oppose them, but then this "Barrington Declaration" cropped up and I don't know what to think now. Are lockdowns good or ...
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Is there a simple plot comparing covid lethality to flu as a function of age?

There is so much arguing over covid-19 vs. influenza. I would like to have some solid data in my hands. Can anyone point to a simple graph of the following? age vs. either CFR or IFR with one line for ...
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Why Pakistan can "flatten the curve" but India can't? [closed]

Comparing the Covid 19 trends between India and Pakistan: One can immediately notice the stark difference: Pakistan managed to "flatten the curve", and India is unable to control the ...
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Why hasn't Russia's daily COVID-19 cases decreased as a result of its vaccine?

On August 11, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced a new vaccine for COVID-19. Since then Russia's COVID charts have looked like this: Evidently the vaccine has had a weak-to-no effect on both ...
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Is it true that half of the COVID-19 patients, even seemingly without symptoms, obtain serious heart damage?

In this video, complex systems expert and physicist-turned-epidemiologist Yaneer Bar-Yam claims that according to recent findings, about half of the people that have been infected with COVID-19 will ...
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Level of vaccination for safe, large, international event [closed]

I've read as much as I've been able about COVID-19 all these months, but nothing comes to mind that talks about what an appropriate level of vaccination would be among international guests to a large ...
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1answer
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Why is the lifetime prevalence of depression lower than the point prevalence? Figures from a study

From an article titled "Prevalence of Depression in the Community from 30 Countries between 1994 and 2014 (Lim et al., Scientific Reports, 2018)": A random-effects model meta-analysis that ...
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1answer
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Intra-atrial thrombosis epidemiology

I have searched without much luck about this question: What are the epidemiological data about intra-atrial thrombosis? All I’ve found are epidemiological data about benign and malign tumors, but I ...
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1answer
50 views

Fatality rate estimation

I'm a non-medical data scientist needing to quickly familiarise myself with epidemiological methodologies. (Don't worry I'm not going anywhere near modelling..) The definitions of case fatality rate ...
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In what time frame exactly was the 2009 H1N1 fatality rate overestimated?

I've read that "It's good to remember that when H1N1 influenza came out in 2009, estimates of case fatality were 10 per cent," said David Fisman, an epidemiologist at the University of ...
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Are there any epidemiological or laboratory studies on the effectiveness of variolation?

Variolation has been brought up in some circles nowadays as a proposal to deal with the Covid-19 crisis (sometimes by invoking the glorious/revolutionary American past). Looking at the aforementioned ...
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1k views

What is the main way COVID-19 spreads?

Reading numerous news articles about COVID-19, I got confused as to what is its main transmission route. In particular, I am confused as to whether it is direct landing of respiratory droplets in ...
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1answer
25 views

What's the margin of error for the estimate on the percentage of people infected with latent tuberculosis?

According to a 2011 (news) article in Science More than a third of the world's population is estimated to be infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Most people's immune system can keep the ...
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1answer
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Are there quantified risk factors for suicide in the U.S.?

The CDC has a page on suicide risk factors/protective factors: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/riskprotectivefactors.html Are there any sources that quantifies how much each of these ...
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1answer
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Could the Cuban coronavirus antiviral be a mass cure for COVID-19?

Sometime around 1981, the Cubans invented an antiviral treatment for coronavirus. What is its relative efficacy against COVID-19? What are the pathways and obstacles for it making its way to being a ...
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COVID-19 and genomic sequencing

The most common explanation given for the large amount of COVID-19 infections in Victoria (Australia) is that it has been transmitted from inbound people in quarantine via security guards to their ...
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Is there a standard projection (or ensemble of proyections) about whether a second wave of COVID-19 will occur?

Several countries and states are leaving or have partially left the lockdown and, with constraints, are recovering economical activity after getting hit by the covid-19 crisis. WHO has warned that ...
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1answer
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Epidemiological characteristics of SARS-CoV-1

SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 seem very similar in terms of their nature and the way in which they entered the human population. SARS-CoV-1 appears to have been driven to extinction, but SARS-CoV-2, which ...