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Spatial Analysis of Global Variability in Covid-19 Burden

Authors Miller LE, Bhattacharyya R, Miller AL

Received 31 March 2020

Accepted for publication 21 May 2020

Published 4 June 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 519—522

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S255793

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Marco Carotenuto


Larry E Miller, Ruemon Bhattacharyya, Anna L Miller

Department of Biostatistics, Miller Scientific, Johnson City, TN, USA

Correspondence: Larry E Miller
Miller Scientific, Johnson City, TN, USA
Tel +1 828-450-1895
Email larry@millerscientific.com

Background: Since the first occurrence of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), a number of online tools have become available to assist with tracking Covid-19 prevalence. Yet we are unaware of resources that provide country-specific Covid-19 incidence data.
Methods: We undertook a descriptive analysis of the global impact of Covid-19 using data reported on March 17, 2020. The prevalence of Covid-19 cases, fatalities attributed to Covid-19, and the case fatality rate for each of the 238 countries were accessed from the World Health Organization global Covid-19 tracking site, and we additionally calculated Covid-19 incidence based on country-specific population data. We determined the country-specific point prevalence and incidence of Covid-19 and associated deaths while using geocoded data to display their spatial distribution with geographic heat maps.
Results: The analysis included 193,197 Covid-19 cases and 7859 associated deaths. The point prevalence was highest in China (80,881), Italy (31,506), Iran (16,169), and Spain (11,312); no other country reported more than 10,000 cases. The incidence (per million population) was highest in San Marino (3389) followed by Iceland (645) and Italy (521); no other country had an incidence above 400 per million population.
Conclusion: Countries with a high Covid-19 prevalence may not have a high incidence, and vice versa. Public health agencies that provide real-time infection tracking tools should report country-specific Covid-19 incidence metrics, in addition to prevalence data.

Keywords: coronavirus, Covid-19, incidence, prevalence

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