Estimation of the final size of the COVID-19 epidemic

One of the common questions regarding an epidemic is its final size. To answer this question various models are used: analytical (Danby 1985, Brauer 2019a, b, Murray 2002), stochastic (Miller 2012), and phenomenological (Fisman D 2014, Pell et al. 2018).

A new study attempts to estimate the final epidemic size using the phenomenological logistic growth model and the classic susceptible-infected-recovered (SIR) model (Hethcote 2000). With both the models, authors obtain a series of daily predictions. The final sizes are then predicted using iterated Shanks transformation (Shanks 1955, Bender and Orszag 1999). The data used for the calculations are taken from worldmeters (

On the basis of the available data, authors predict that the final size of the coronavirus epidemic using the logistic model will be ―in China―, approximately 83,700 cases and that the peak of the epidemic was on 9 Feb 2020. Naturally, the degree of accuracy of these estimates remains to be seen.

Link to the paper:

Editorial Disclaimer: information published during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic may be updated frequently to reflect the dynamic nature of current understanding.

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