2. Harvard Epidemiologist Dr. Stephen Kissler discusses COVID-19 Mathematical Modeling & Variants

Decoding COVID Podcast Art

Harvard Epidemiologist, Dr. Stephen Kissler and John Houghton discuss data modeling for diseases with special consideration of SARS-CoV-2 variants, including B.1.1.7 (UK), P.1 (Brazil), and B.1.351 (South Africa).  This is a deep dive on the nuts and bolts of COVID-19 modeling including insightful definitions of R0, generation interval, start date, and population size.

  • How R0 as a measure becomes substituted with Rt as an outbreak progresses
  • Review data model created by John at the beginning of the epidemic
  • The SIR model (Susceptible, Infectious, or Recovered)
  • How does reinfection change the SIR model? Introducing SIRS (or SIS)
  • Probabilistic vs deterministic modeling
  • The explosiveness of exponential growth
  • Can new variants be introduced at an exponential rate?
  • Discussion of Lancet paper: Resurgence of COVID-19 in Manaus, Brazil, despite high seroprevalence – The Lancet
  • Math check: If a variant is 40% more infectious than an R0 3.0 wild type-virus, what is the new R0?

Check out Dr. Kissler’s podcast: Pandemic: Coronavirus Edition.

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