DaSSWeb, Data Science and Statistics Webinar
'CORONASURVEYS: USING SURVEYS WITH INDIRECT REPORTING TO ESTIMATE THE INCIDENCE AND EVOLUTION OF EPIDEMICS'
Departamento de Matemática
Universidade do Minho
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CoronaSurveys: Using Surveys with Indirect Reporting to Estimate the Incidence and Evolution of Epidemics
The world is suffering from a pandemic called COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. National governments have problems evaluating the reach of the epidemic, due to having limited resources and tests at their disposal. This problem is especially acute in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Hence, any simple, cheap and flexible means of evaluating the incidence and evolution of the epidemic in a given country with a reasonable level of accuracy is useful. In this work, we propose a technique based on (anonymous) surveys in which participants report on the health status of their contacts. This indirect reporting technique, known in the literature as network scale-up method, preserves the privacy of the participants and their contacts, and collects information from a larger fraction of the population (as compared to individual surveys). This technique has been deployed in the CoronaSurveys project, which has been collecting reports for the COVID-19 pandemic for more than two months. In this talk, we focus on the results obtained by CoronaSurveys in Spain and Portugal, illustrating the power and flexibility of the approach, and suggesting that it could be an inexpensive and powerful tool for LMICs.
Raquel Menezes holds a PhD in Mathematics/Statistics at the University of Santiago de Compostela (2005), a MSc in Computer Sciences at Minho University and a BSc in Applied Mathematics at Porto University. She is Assistant Professor at the Department of Mathematics of Minho University, researcher of Centre of Mathematics, and collaborator of the Research Centre of Statistics and its Applications of Lisbon University (CEAUL). Her main research interest is Spatial Statistics, primarily Geostatistics, also working on topics as non-parametric curves estimation and analysis of Spatio-Temporal data. She has supervised 5 PhD students and more than 16 master students in Statistics. She has been acting as principal investigator of projects funded by the Portuguese National Funding Agency for Science, Research and Technology, and being member of other funded projects. Presently, she has about 27 papers published in international peer-reviewed journals.