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Using early data to estimate the actual infection fatality ratio from COVID-19 in France

Abstract : The number of screening tests carried out in France and the methodology used to target the patients tested do not allow for a direct computation of the actual number of cases and the infection fatality ratio (IFR). The main objective of this work is to estimate the actual number of people infected with COVID-19 and to deduce the IFR during the observation window in France. We develop a 'mechanistic-statistical' approach coupling a SIR epidemiological model describing the unobserved epidemiological dynamics, a probabilistic model describing the data acquisition process and a statistical inference method. The actual number of infected cases in France is probably higher than the observations: we find here a factor times 8 (95%-CI: 5-12) which leads to an IFR in France of 0.5% (95%-CI: 0.3-0.8) based on hospital death counting data. Adjusting for the number of deaths in nursing homes, we obtain an IFR of 0.8% (95%-CI: 0.45-1.25). This IFR is consistent with previous findings in China (0.66%) and in the UK (0.9%) and lower than the value previously computed on the Diamond Princess cruise ship data (1.3%).
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Contributor : Lionel Roques <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, April 8, 2020 - 10:17:22 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 1:42:11 AM

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Lionel Roques, Etienne Klein, Julien Papax, Antoine Sar, Samuel Soubeyrand. Using early data to estimate the actual infection fatality ratio from COVID-19 in France. MDPI Biology, MDPI AG, 2020, 9 (5), pp.97. ⟨10.3390/biology9050097⟩. ⟨hal-02514569v3⟩

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