Spread of infection: how to correct for population size


The Covid-19 death data for different countries should reflect how fast the infection spreads through the population and how susceptible the population is. The total number of deaths after some longer time will depend on the population size but the initial infection rate less so.

For example if the infection starts with one person, then the speed at which it spreads will not depend on population size per se (it will depend on density and connected-ness).

However, in a larger population it is more likely there will be more then one patient zero. Also after some time the number of new infections slows down because there are fewer not-infected individuals left in a network. In a larger population this mitigating effect will be smaller because there are more networks to infect.

Taking the above into consideration, how should the numbers on covid-19 deaths be corrected for population size?


Posted 2020-03-29T20:38:02.023

Reputation: 119

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