Pandemic risk of COVID-19 outbreak in the United States: An analysis of network connectedness with air travel data.

Affiliation

Tiwari A(1), So MKP(2), Chong ACY(3), Chan JNL(4), Chu AMY(5).
Author information:
(1)LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China; School of Nursing, Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital, Hong Kong, China.
(2)Department of Information Systems, Business Statistics and Operations Management, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address: [Email]
(3)School of Nursing and Health Studies, The Open University of Hong Kong, Ho Man Tin, Hong Kong, China.
(4)Department of Information Systems, Business Statistics and Operations Management, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong, China.
(5)Department of Social Sciences, The Education University of Hong Kong, Tai Po, Hong Kong, China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The United States has become the country with the largest number of COVID-19 reported cases and deaths. This study aims to analyze the pandemic risk of COVID-19 outbreak in the US. METHODS: Time series plots of the network density, together with the daily reported confirmed COVID-19 cases and flight frequency in the five states in the US with the largest numbers of COVID-19 cases were developed to discover the trends and patterns of the pandemic connectedness of COVID-19 among the five states. RESULTS: The research findings suggest that the pandemic risk of the outbreak in the US could be detected as early as the beginning of March. The signal was prior to the rapid increase of reported COVID-19 cases and flight reduction measures. Travel restriction can be strengthened at an early stage of the outbreak while more focus of local public health measures can be addressed after community spread. CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrates the application of network density on detection of pandemic risk and its relationship with air travel restriction in order to provide useful information for policymakers to better optimize timely containment strategies to mitigate the outbreak of infectious diseases.