U.K. and Polish scientists have developed a technique to detect epidemic waves of COVID-19, first by clarifying the multiple ways researchers apply the phrase "epidemic wave."
The method splits epidemic time series of confirmed cases and deaths into non-overlapping "observed waves," enabling cross-validation to factor in the impact of shifting case determination, and to enhance case wave identification.
The algorithm was applied to every country for which COVID-19 data was available, and revealed a stronger association of waves with longer response time to stringency and higher gross national income.
Transmission and testing are the key drivers of waves in case incidence time series, and escalating transmission can trigger a wave, more testing, or both, if the testing regime shifts during a transmission wave.
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