Predicting Covid-19 Infections Using the SIR Model

A Guide to SIR Models

A SIR model is a basic set of graphs and formulas that are primarily used to determine the spread of an infectious disease throughout a population. Originating in the 1760s, SIR models have been used to analyze all types of viruses - from the cholera outbreak to the ebola epidemic.

  • I — stands for infectives and is the number of individuals that have and can transmit the virus.
  • R — stands for removed and is the number of individuals that either weren’t infected by the virus (possible natural immunity), can’t transmit it to others (could be in isolation), or have passed away.

Predicting Infections in China & South Korea

In wanting to predict the spread of Covid-19, I decided to mimic the results from Ian Cooper, Argha Mondal, and Chris G. Antonopoulos’ paper, A SIR model assumption from the spread of Covid-19 in different communities.

For China, I decided to focus on the total infections during the period of January to June 2020.
For South Korea, I decided to focus on the active infections at the time from February to June 2020

Final Thoughts

All in all, SIR models are an extremely sick concept. The ability to almost accurately predict the spread of a virus over a certain period of time is valuable!

hihi 🐳

Thank you so much for reading my article! My name is Alysha Selvarajah and I am a 16 y/o with an interest in exploring new fields (the current one being virology).

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