Cutting COVID-19 Infectious Period

Arise from PHICOR’s computational simulation model show reductions in the contagious duration of COVID-19 might avoid thousands of hospitalizations and countless cases and save billions of dollars. Credit: Sarah Rebbert/PHICOR, 2020 (CC-BY)

Simulations highlight potential value of developing ways to reduce how long someone is contagious.

A new computational analysis suggests that a vaccine or medication that might shorten the transmittable duration of COVID-19 might potentially avoid millions of cases and save billions of dollars. The study was led by Bruce Lee along with associates in the Public Health Informatics, Computational, and Operations Research (PHICOR) group headquartered at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy and the Lundquist Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and publishes in the open-access journal PLOS Computational Biology

While much of the general public discussion surrounding COVID-19 vaccines and medications has focused on preventing or treating the infection, the vaccines and medications that might emerge might have subtler impacts. Those that can’t necessarily prevent or cure might still reduce the length of time someone is contagious.

To clarify the potential value of shortening the infectious period, Lee and coworkers developed a computational design that simulates the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the infection that causes COVID-19 They used the model to check out how a vaccine or medication that can reduce the contagious period may reduce the clinical and financial impact of the disease.

The simulations suggest that reducing the infectious period by half a day could prevent up to 1.4 million cases and over 99,000 hospitalizations, conserving $2095 billion in direct medical and indirect costs– even if only a quarter of people with symptoms were treated– and integrating conservative quotes of how contagious the virus might be. Under the exact same scenarios, cutting the contagious period by 3.5 days could avoid up to 7.4 million cases.

These findings might assist direct research study and investments into development of vaccines or medications that decrease the contagious duration of SARS-CoV-2. They could also assist federal government agencies plan rollout of such products and offer expense insights to assist reimbursement policies for third-party payers.

” There may be a propensity to ignore vaccines and other treatments that do not prevent a COVID-19 infection or cure illness,” states Lee. “However this study showed that even fairly little modifications in how long individuals are contagious can considerably impact the transmission and spread of the infection and therefore conserve billions of dollars and prevent countless brand-new cases.”

” This research study reveals that vaccine and medication development efforts for COVID-19 must concentrate on the impact to in fact assist suppress the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, not just advantages of a single patient,” says James McKinnell, a co-author of the research study. “Prevalent treatment, in mix with other avoidance efforts, could prove to be the tipping point.”

Recommendation: “The value of decreasing the duration of the transmittable duration of extreme intense breathing syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection” by Lee BY, Bartsch SM, Ferguson MC, Wedlock PT, O’Shea KJ, Siegmund SS, et al. (2020), 7 January 2021, PLOS Computational Biology
1371/ journal.1008470

It was also supported by the Agency for Health Care Research Study and Quality (AHRQ) by means of grant R01 HS023317(BYL, SMB, MCF, PTW, KJO, SSS, SNC), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under contract number AID-OAA-A-15-00064(BYL, SMB, MCF, PTW, KJO, SSS, SNC), and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Kid Health and Human Development (NICHD) via grant U01 HD086861( BYL, SMB, MCF, PTW, KJO, SSS, SNC), and 5R01 HD086013-02( BYL, SMB, MCF, PTW, KJO, SSS, SNC). Declarations in the manuscript do not always represent the main views of, or imply recommendation by, National Institute of Health, AHRQ or HHS.

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