CoronaSurveys: Using Surveys with Indirect Reporting to Estimate the Incidence and Evolution of Epidemics

13 Jan

Antonio Fernández Anta, Research Professor at IMDEA Networks Institute, Madrid, Spain

In-house Presentation

The world is suffering from a pandemic called COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. National governments have problems tracking the reach of the epidemic, due to having limited resources 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 talk, I will present the CoronaSurveys project ( CoronaSurveys uses 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 direct surveys). The CoronaSurveys project has been collecting reports for the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020. Results obtained by CoronaSurveys show the power and flexibility of the approach, suggesting that it could be an inexpensive and powerful tool to track the COVID-19 pandemic.

About Antonio Fernández Anta

Antonio Fernández Anta is Research Professor at IMDEA Networks. Previously he was on the Faculty of the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC), and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), where he received a research performance award. He was a postdoc at MIT (1995-1997), and spent sabbatical years at Bell Labs and MIT Media Lab. He has been awarded the Premio Nacional de Informática “Aritmel” in 2019 and is Mercator Fellow of the SFB MAKI in Germany since 2018. He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Louisiana. He is a Senior Member of ACM and IEEE.

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