Outbreaks in care homes may lead to substantial disease burden if not mitigated

University of Manchester COVID-19 Modelling Group and the Public Health England Modelling Team, Ian Hall, Hugo Lewkowicz, Luke Webb, Thomas House, Lorenzo Pellis, James Sedgwick, Robert Gent

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Abstract

The number of COVID-19 outbreaks reported in UK care homes rose rapidly in early March of 2020. Owing to the increased co-morbidities and therefore worse COVID-19 outcomes for care home residents, it is important that we understand this increase and its future implications. We demonstrate the use of an SIS model where each nursing home is an infective unit capable of either being susceptible to an outbreak (S) or in an active outbreak (I). We use a generalized additive model to approximate the trend in growth rate of outbreaks in care homes and find the fit to be improved in a model where the growth rate is proportional to the number of current care home outbreaks compared with a model with a constant growth rate. Using parameters found from the outbreak-dependent growth rate, we predict a 73% prevalence of outbreaks in UK care homes without intervention as a reasonable worst-case planning assumption. This article is part of the theme issue 'Modelling that shaped the early COVID-19 pandemic response in the UK'.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20200269
Number of pages6
JournalPhilosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
Volume376
Issue number1829
Early online date31 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: L.P. is supported by the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society (grant no. 202562/Z/16/Z). T.H. is supported by the Royal Society (grant no. INF/R2/180067). I.H. is supported by the National Institute for Health Research Policy Research Programme in Operational Research (OPERA, PR-R17-0916-21001). L.W. and H.L. are on studentships supported by the Medical Research Council. I.H., L.P. and T.H. are supported by The Alan Turing Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, EPSRC (EP/V027468/1) and by UKRI through the JUNIPER modelling consortium (grant no. MR/V038613/1).

Open Access: Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

Publishers Copyright: © 2021 The Authors.

Citation: Hall Ian, Lewkowicz Hugo, Webb Luke, House Thomas, Pellis Lorenzo, Sedgwick James, Gent Nick and on behalf of the University of Manchester COVID-19 Modelling Group and the Public Health England Modelling Team 2021Outbreaks in care homes may lead to substantial disease burden if not mitigated Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B3762020026920200269

DOI: http://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0269

Keywords

  • care home
  • institutional outbreaks
  • mathematical modelling

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