Results From Computational Model Show Shortening COVID-19 Infectious Period Could Prevent Millions of Cases

Submitted by SarahRebbert on Thu, 01/07/2021 - 16:20
Bruce Y. Lee , Sarah M. Bartsch, Marie C. Ferguson, Patrick T. Wedlock, Kelly J. O’Shea, Sheryl S. Siegmund, Sarah N. Cox, James A. McKinnell
Publication journal

Finding medications or vaccines that may decrease the infectious period of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) could potentially reduce transmission in the broader population. We developed a computational model of the U.S. simulating the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the potential clinical and economic impact of reducing the infectious period duration. Simulation experiments found that reducing the average infectious period duration could avert a median of 442,852 [treating 25% of symptomatic cases, reducing by 0.5 days, reproductive number (R0) 3.5, and starting treatment when 15% of the population has been exposed] to 44.4 million SARS-CoV-2 cases (treating 75% of all infected cases, reducing by 3.5 days, R0 2.0). With R0 2.5, reducing the average infectious period duration by 0.5 days for 25% of symptomatic cases averted 1.4 million cases and 99,398 hospitalizations; increasing to 75% of symptomatic cases averted 2.8 million cases. At $500/person, treating 25% of symptomatic cases saved $209.5 billion (societal perspective). Further reducing the average infectious period duration by 3.5 days averted 7.4 million cases (treating 25% of symptomatic cases). Expanding treatment to 75% of all infected cases, including asymptomatic infections (R0 2.5), averted 35.9 million cases and 4 million hospitalizations, saving $48.8 billion (societal perspective and starting treatment after 5% of the population has been exposed). Our study quantifies the potential effects of reducing the SARS-CoV-2 infectious period duration.

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Computational Modeling