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Quadratic growth during the COVID-19 pandemic: merging hotspots and reinfections
Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita). Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC). Carnegie Mellon University, United States of America; Ilia State University, Georgia.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7304-021X
Number of Authors: 12023 (English)In: Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, ISSN 1751-8113, E-ISSN 1751-8121, Vol. 56, no 4, article id 044002Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The existence of an exponential growth phase during early stages of a pandemic is often taken for granted. However, for the 2019 novel coronavirus epidemic, the early exponential phase lasted only for about six days, while the quadratic growth prevailed for forty days until it spread to other countries and continued, again quadratically, but with a shorter time constant. Here we show that this rapid phase is followed by a subsequent slow-down where the coefficient is reduced to almost the original value at the outbreak. This can be explained by the merging of previously disconnected sites that occurred after the disease jumped (nonlocally) to a relatively small number of separated sites. Subsequent variations in the slope with continued growth can qualitatively be explained as a result of reinfections and variations in their rate. We demonstrate that the observed behavior can be described by a standard epidemiological model with spatial extent and reinfections included. Time-dependent changes in the spatial diffusion coefficient can also model corresponding variations in the slope.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. Vol. 56, no 4, article id 044002
Keywords [en]
quadratic growth, SIR model, front propagation
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-215879DOI: 10.1088/1751-8121/acb743ISI: 000931784500001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85148067420OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-215879DiVA, id: diva2:1746935
Available from: 2023-03-30 Created: 2023-03-30 Last updated: 2023-03-30Bibliographically approved

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Brandenburg, Axel

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Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita)Department of AstronomyThe Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC)
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