Building Environmental and Sociological Predictive Intelligence to Understand the Seasonal Threat of SARS-CoV-2 in Human Populations

Moiz Usmani, Kyle D. Brumfield, Bailey Magers, Aijia Zhou, Chamteut Oh, Yuqing Mao, William Brown, Arthur Schmidt, Chang Yu Wu, Joanna L. Shisler, Thanh H. Nguyen, Anwar Huq, Rita Colwell, Antarpreet Jutla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Current modeling practices for environmental and sociological modulated infectious diseases remain inadequate to forecast the risk of outbreak(s) in human populations, partly due to a lack of integration of disciplinary knowledge, limited availability of disease surveillance datasets, and overreliance on compartmental epidemiological modeling methods. Harvesting data knowledge from virus transmission (aerosols) and detection (wastewater) of SARS-CoV-2, a heuristic score-based environmental predictive intelligence system was developed that calculates the risk of COVID-19 in the human population. Seasonal validation of the algorithm was uniquely associated with wastewater surveillance of the virus, providing a lead time of 7–14 days before a county-level outbreak. Using county-scale disease prevalence data from the United States, the algorithm could predict COVID-19 risk with an overall accuracy ranging between 81% and 98%. Similarly, using wastewater surveillance data from Illinois and Maryland, the SARS-CoV-2 detection rate was greater than 80% for 75% of the locations during the same time the risk was predicted to be high. Results suggest the importance of a holistic approach across disciplinary boundaries that can potentially allow anticipatory decision-making policies of saving lives and maximizing the use of available capacity and resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-528
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume110
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology
  • Parasitology

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