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Salje Group COVID-19 Research

last modified Sep 09, 2020 03:36 PM

Dr Henrik Salje provides us with a summary of the work being done by his group in relation to COVID19:

SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, continues to spread, causing substantial burden on public health worldwide. We have been working closely with researchers at Institut Pasteur in analysing hospitalisation records in France. In this study, we use mathematical models that reconstruct the evolving epidemic, allowing us to estimate the build-up of immunity in the population, the underlying probability of hospitalization, the need for intensive care treatment as well as the underlying probability of death for infected individuals. Further, we estimate the impact of lockdown strategies in containing the epidemic and characterise the changing patient profiles (such as by age and sex) of hospitalised populations.

We also work on a project comparing the SARS-CoV-2 infection burden across locations. Most infected individuals do not become hospitalised, especially among younger members of the population. This means that surveillance data from hospitals will underestimate the true underlying level of infection in the community.  In this context, seroprevalence studies that test for the presence of antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 in a subset of the population, are central to understanding the proportion of the population that have been infected. We are using the age profile of COVID-19 patients in combination with the results of seroprevalence studies from different countries around the world. We develop models that explore the consistency of these studies and implied infection fatality ratios. We also estimate location-specific infection fatality ratios that account for the age-structure of the population and observed deaths. This work has highlighted the key role that outbreaks in nursing homes have played in contributing to the large numbers of SARS-CoV-2 related deaths in European countries and helping partly explain the observed differences in infection fatality ratios across locations.

 Covid research

Link to group website: www.pdg.gen.cam.ac.uk