Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives 2017; 8(6): 373-376  https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2017.8.6.03
Effects of Timely Control Intervention on the Spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection
Ilsu Choia, Dong Ho Leeb, and Yongkuk Kimb
aDepartment of Statistics, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Korea, bDepartment of Mathematics, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea
Correspondence to: Yongkuk Kim, E-mail: yongkuk@knu.ac.kr
Received: September 5, 2017; Revised: November 2, 2017; Accepted: November 9, 2017; Published online: December 31, 2017.
© Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. All rights reserved.

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Abstract

Objectives

The 2015 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak in Korea caused major economic and social problems. The control intervention was conducted during the MERS-CoV outbreak in Korea immediately after the confirmation of the index case. This study investigates whether the early risk communication with the general public and mass media is an effective preventive strategy.

Methods

The SEIR (Susceptible, Exposed, Infectious, Recovered) model with estimated parameters for the time series data of the daily MERS-CoV incidence in Korea was considered from May to December 2015. For 10,000 stochastic simulations, the SEIR model was computed using the Gillespie algorithm. Depending on the time of control intervention on the 20th, 40th, and 60th days after the identification of the index case, the box plots of MERS-CoV incidences in Korea were computed, and the results were analyzed via ANOVA.

Results

The box plots showed that there was a significant difference between the non-intervention and intervention groups (the 20th day, 40th day, and 60th day groups) and seemed to show no significant difference based on the time of intervention. However, the ANOVA revealed that early intervention was a good strategy to control the disease.

Conclusion

Appropriate risk communication can secure the confidence of the general public in the public health authorities.

Keywords: infectious disease transmission, basic reproduction number, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus
INTRODUCTION

The emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in South Korea in 2015 exerted huge social and economic tolls. Mathematical models are effective for understanding and controlling the spread of MERS-CoV, and so far, many attempts at applying mathematical models have been made to understand the MERS-CoV outbreak in Korea [19]. The control intervention was conducted during the MERS-CoV outbreak in Korea immediately after the confirmation of the index case. Using a mathematical model, we investigated whether the early risk communication with the general public and mass media is an effective preventive strategy.

The SEIR (Susceptible, Exposed, Infectious, Recovered) model with estimated parameters from the time series data on the daily incidence of MERS-CoV in Korea was considered from May to December 2015. For the 10,000 stochastic simulations, the SEIR model was computed using the Gillespie algorithm. Depending on the time of control interventions on the 20th, 40th, and 60th days since the index case was identified, the box plots of MERS-CoV incidences in Korea were computed, and then analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to analyze the results.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

1. The basic model for MERS-CoV dynamics

The following SEIR model by Lee et al. [10] that categorizes each individual into one of the six epidemiological classes was considered: susceptible (S), exposed (or high-risk latent) (E), symptomatic and infectious (I), infectious but asymptomatic (A), hospitalized (H), and recovered (R).

dSdt=-β(I+l1A+l2H)NSdEdt=β(I+l1A+l2H)NS-κEdIdt=κρE-(γa+γI)IdAdt=κ(1-ρ)E-γIAdHdt=γaI-γrHdRdt=γII+γrH+γIA

It was assumed that not only infectious and hospitalized individuals, but also asymptomatic individuals could infect others. The parameters β, l1, l2, κ, ρ, γa, γI and γr represent human-to-human transmission rate per unit time, the relative transmissibility of asymptomatic and hospitalized classes, the rate of progression from exposed class E to symptomatic I or asymptomatic infectious class A, the proportion of symptomatic infections, the hospitalization rate of symptomatic individuals, the recovery rate without being hospitalized, and the recovery rate of hospitalized patients, respectively.

2. Stochastic simulation methods

We used the Gillespie algorithm to study random interactions occurring in the given system of equations. The stochastic simulation algorithm, suggested by Gillespie [11], is as follows:

For a set of coupled ordinary differential equations

dX(t)dt=j=1Mcjaj(X(t)),

we can construct an exact numerical realization of the process X(t):

Step 0: Initialize the time t = t0 and the system’s state X(t0) = X0.

Step 1: With the system in state X at time t, evaluate all the aj(X) and their sum a0(X):=i=1Mai(X).

Step 2: Draw two random numbers r1 and r2 from the uniform distribution in the unit interval, and take

τ=1a0(X)ln(1r1)

j=the smallest integer satisfying i=1jai(X)>a0(X):=i=1Mai(X)

Step 3: Replace tt + τ and XX + cj.

Step 4: Record (X, t) as desired. Return to Step 1, or else end the simulation.

RESULTS

For the 10,000 stochastic simulations, the SEIR model was computed by using the Gillespie algorithm with initial values S = 100,000; E = 10; I = A = H = R = 0 and the parameter values [10] β = 0.085, l1 = 0.2, l2 = 10, κ = 1/6.6, ρ = 0.585, γa = 0.6403, γI = 1/5, and γr = 1/7. The control measure was used by changing the value l2 from 10 to 8.5. Figure 1 depicts the box plots of incidences I (t) + A (t) + H (t) of the MERS-CoV depending on the time of the control intervention on the 20th, 40th, and 60th days after the identification of the index case.

The box plots showed that there was a significant difference between the non-intervention and intervention groups (the 20th day, 40th day, and 60th day groups) and seemed to show no significant difference based on the time of intervention. However, the ANOVA in Table 1 revealed a significant difference between the averages in the intervention groups and showed that early intervention promotes a good strategy to control the disease. In particular, these results were evident from the average and standard deviation, which were smaller in the early intervention period. The difference was markedly larger 100 days after the identification of the index case, and the difference in the effect of the intervention over time showed a decreasing trend.

DISCUSSION

The control intervention was conducted during the MERS-CoV outbreak in Korea immediately after the confirmation of the index case and the control measures were carried out on the 20th day after the confirmation of the index case. Using the stochastic simulations of the SEIR model depending on the time of control interventions on the 20th, 40th, and 60th days after the confirmation of the index case, this study investigated whether early risk communication with the general public and mass media is an effective preventive strategy. As a result, the intervention on the 20th day after the identification of the index case was much better than the intervention on the 60th day. Therefore, we conclude that appropriate risk communication can secure the confidence of the general public in the public health authorities.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This study was carried out with the support of the Research Program of Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea (Project No. PJ011563).

Figures
Fig. 1. Box plot for the control interventions according to the number of days (A, 100 days; B, 200 days; C, 300 days; D, 400 days) after the identification of the index case.
Tables

Results of the ANOVA according to the day of intervention after the identification of the index case

Variable Data ANOVA (F-value)a
The 100th day 231.72
 No control 23.0017 ± 30.1585

 The 20th day control 9.4533 ± 14.3353

 The 40th day control 11.4083 ± 16.0851

 The 60th day control 14.5683 ± 19.9566

The 200th day 108.49

 No control 52.6752 ± 82.3164

 The 20th day control 7.3237 ± 16.8129

 The 40th day control 8.6575 ± 18.1072

 The 60th day control 11.2189 ± 21.7501

The 300th day 66.99

 No control 106.4571 ± 164.5254

 The 20th day control 5.5167 ± 16.7547

 The 40th day control 6.3517 ± 17.2051

 The 60th day control 8.4170 ± 20.5291

The 400th day 38.18

 No control 172.5906 ± 241.5982

 The 20th day control 3.9101 ± 14.7193

 The 40th day control 4.4760 ± 15.3066

 The 60th day control 5.8240 ± 17.5711

Value are presented as mean ± standard deviation.

Degree of freedom (d.f.) (factor) = 2; d.f. (error) = 29,997; p = 0.0000.

References
  1. Hsieh, YH (2015). 2015 Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) nosocomial outbreak in South Korea: insights from modeling. PeerJ. 3, e1505.
    Pubmed KoreaMed CrossRef
  2. Kim, Y, Lee, S, and Chu, C (2016). The characteristics of Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus transmission dynamics in South Korea. Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 7, 49-55.
    Pubmed KoreaMed CrossRef
  3. Lee, J, Chowell, G, and Jung, E (2016). A dynamic compartmental model for the Middle East respiratory syndrome outbreak in the Republic of Korea: A retrospective analysis on control interventions and superspreading events. J Theor Biol. 408, 118-26.
    Pubmed CrossRef
  4. Mizumoto, K, Saitoh, M, and Chowell, G (2015). Estimating the risk of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) death during the course of the outbreak in the Republic of Korea, 2015. Int J Infect Dis. 39, 7-9.
    Pubmed CrossRef
  5. Park, HY, Lee, EJ, and Ryu, YW (2015). Epidemiological investigation of MERS-CoV spread in a single hospital in South Korea, May to June 2015. Euro Surveill. 20, 1-6.
    Pubmed CrossRef
  6. Stone, L, Shulgin, B, and Agur, Z (2000). Theoretical examination of the pulse vaccination policy in the SIR epidemic model. Math Comput Model. 31, 207-15.
    CrossRef
  7. Virlogeux, V, Fang, VJ, and Park, M (2016). Comparison of incubation period distribution of human infections with MERS-CoV in South Korea and Saudi Arabia. Sci Rep. 6, 35839.
    Pubmed KoreaMed CrossRef
  8. Virlogeux, V, Park, M, and Wu, JT (2016). Association between severity of MERS-CoV infection and incubation period. Emerg Infect Dis. 22, 526-8.
    Pubmed KoreaMed CrossRef
  9. Xia, ZQ, Zhang, J, and Xue, YK (2015). Modeling the transmission of Middle East respirator syndrome corona virus in the Republic of Korea. PLoS One. 10, e0144778.
    Pubmed KoreaMed CrossRef
  10. Lee, DH, Masud, MA, and Kim, BN (2017). Optimal control analysis for the MERS-CoV outbreak: South Korea perspectives. J KSIAM. 21, 143-54.
  11. Gillespie, DT (1977). Exact stochastic simulation of coupled chemical reactions. J Phys Chem. 81, 2340-61.
    CrossRef


This Article


Cited By Articles
  • CrossRef (0)

Funding Information

Services
Social Network Service

e-submission

Archives

Indexed/Covered by