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Dating first cases of COVID-19

Roberts, David L., Rossman, Jeremy S., Jarić, Ivan (2021) Dating first cases of COVID-19. PLoS Pathogens, 17 (6). Article Number e1009620. ISSN 1553-7374. (doi:10.1371/journal.) (KAR id:88834)


Questions persist as to the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence is building that its origin as a zoonotic spillover occurred prior to the officially accepted timing of early December, 2019. Here we provide novel methods to date the origin of COVID-19 cases. We show that six countries had exceptionally early cases, unlikely to represent part of their main case series. The model suggests a likely timing of the first case of COVID-19 in China as November 17 (95% CI October 4). Origination dates are discussed for the first five countries outside China and each continent. Results infer that SARS-CoV-2 emerged in China in early October to mid-November, and by January, had spread globally. This suggests an earlier and more rapid timeline of spread. Our study provides new approaches for estimating dates of the arrival of infectious diseases based on small samples that can be applied to many epidemiological situations.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1371/journal.
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
R Medicine > RB Pathology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: David Roberts
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2021 18:24 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2022 23:12 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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