COVID-19 cases and deaths may follow weekly pattern- JAMA st
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MIT, Boston University, and Harvard Medical School researchers have identified weekly oscillations in the numbers of new daily COVID-19 cases and deaths in several countries that are more pronounced than fluctuations seen with other diseases.

In their research letter, published in JAMA Network Open, the authors describe how they analyzed daily new international coronavirus case and death data from the Worldometer for the United States, Germany, Canada, Italy, Brazil, and the United Kingdom from Feb 29 to Jul 2.

In Germany and Italy, oscillations of new infections and deaths became less pronounced over time, with a 92% reduction from peak to peak in daily reported deaths from April to July, which the authors said could indicate significantly slower disease transmission. But the United States and Brazil showed only a 43% reduction in U.S. peak-to-peak oscillations in deaths during the same period, indicating that those countries have not significantly slowed transmission rates.

Regular oscillations in other epidemics:

The researchers noted that previous epidemics involving other infectious agents have shown periodic oscillations, but not such high-frequency ones. Seasonal oscillations have been observed in smallpox in Japan, India and Sweden, and dengue fever in Thailand, which suggests that immune interactions between serotypes could play a role.

The weekly oscillations should be taken into account in the estimation of COVID-19 disease spread, similar to the way experts account for seasonality in flu, the authors of the current study said. "We urge the scientific community to conduct an in-depth exploration of the periodicity in COVID-19 cases and deaths, which might lead to improved COVID-19 predictions and understanding of the transmission of the disease," they wrote.

Source: http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.17521
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