An SEIHR model with age group and social contact for analysis of Fuzhou COVID-19 large wave

Lan, Xiaomin and Chen, Guangmin and Zhou, Ruiyang and Zheng, Kuicheng and Cai, Shaojian and Wei, Fengying and Jin, Zhen and Mao, Xuerong (2024) An SEIHR model with age group and social contact for analysis of Fuzhou COVID-19 large wave. Infectious Disease Modelling, 9 (3). pp. 728-743. ISSN 2468-0427 (

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Background: The structure of age groups and social contacts of the total population influenced infection scales and hospital-bed requirements, especially influenced severe infections and deaths during the global prevalence of COVID-19. Before the end of the year 2022, Chinese government implemented the national vaccination and had built the herd immunity cross the country, and announced Twenty Measures (November 11) and Ten New Measures (December 7) for further modifications of dynamic zero-COVID polity on the Chinese mainland. With the nation-wide vaccination and modified measures background, Fuzhou COVID-19 large wave (November 19, 2022–February 9, 2023) led by Omicron BA.5.2 variant was recorded and prevailed for three months in Fujian Province. Methods: A multi-age groups susceptible-exposed-infected-hospitalized-recovered (SEIHR) COVID-19 model with social contacts was proposed in this study. The main object was to evaluate the impacts of age groups and social contacts of the total population. The idea of Least Squares method was governed to perform the data fittings of four age groups against the surveillance data from Fujian Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Fujian CDC). The next generation matrix method was used to compute basic reproduction number for the total population and for the specific age group. The tendencies of effective reproduction number of four age groups were plotted by using the Epiestim R package and the SEIHR model for in-depth discussions. The sensitivity analysis by using sensitivity index and partial rank correlation coefficients values (PRCC values) were operated to reveal the differences of age groups against the main parameters. Results: The main epidemiological features such as basic reproduction number, effective reproduction number and sensitivity analysis were extensively discussed for multi-age groups SEIHR model in this study. Firstly, by using of the next generation matrix method, basic reproduction number R0 of the total population was estimated as 1.57 using parameter values of four age groups of Fuzhou COVID-19 large wave. Given age group k, the values of R0k (age group k to age group k), the values of R0k (an infected of age group k to the total population) and the values of R^0k (an infected of the total population to age group k) were also estimated, in which the explorations of the impacts of age groups revealed that the relationship R0k>R0k>R^0k was valid. Then, the fluctuating tendencies of effective reproduction number Rt were demonstrated by using two approaches (the surveillance data and the SEIHR model) for Fuzhou COVID-19 large wave, during which high-risk group (G4 group) mainly contributed the infection scale due to high susceptibility to infection and high risks to basic diseases. Further, the sensitivity analysis using two approaches (the sensitivity index and the PRCC values) revealed that susceptibility to infection of age groups played the vital roles, while the numerical simulation showed that infection scale varied with the changes of social contacts of age groups. The results of this study claimed that the high-risk group out of the total population was concerned by the local government with the highest susceptibility to infection against COVID-19. Conclusions: This study verified that the partition structure of age groups of the total population, the susceptibility to infection of age groups, the social contacts among age groups were the important contributors of infection scale. The less social contacts and adequate hospital beds for high-risk group were profitable to control the spread of COVID-19. To avoid the emergence of medical runs against new variant in the future, the policymakers from local government were suggested to decline social contacts when hospital beds were limited.