Original Article

How to Reduce Misinterpretation of Quantitative Infection Risk by Assessment Parameters Associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic

Abstract

Introduction: The quantitative information on the risk of infection in the COVID-19 pandemic is calculated currently exclusively on the base of new infections per day, which only contribute 6.60%±1.34% to the 100% contagious acute infections and are, therefore, not proportional to the risk of infection. All methods and results presented here are shown for data in Germany, but can be transferred to any other region worldwide. 

Methods: More precise parameters as are used at present, are based on acute infections: stress index with information about the distance to the stress limit of the health system, the density of the sources of infection and the change in acute infections during the last 5 days are suggested here. 

Results: The comparison of the results of the current and the new assessment parameters shows that large daily fluctuations in new infections of up to ±22% lead to unnecessary uncertainties. The new assessment parameters are correspondingly more precise. The 7-days incidence warning thresholds introduced by German law in November 2020 and April 2021 are defined on the base of new infections. As a result, the real infection risks can be incorrectly assessed due to the large fluctuations of the 7-days incidence values up to ±23%, so that legal conflicts can arise if legally prescribed protective measures are objectively unjustified or introduced too late. 

Conclusion: By moving from new infections to acute infections as a base for calculation, infection risks can be described more precisely and even unjustified, expensive protective measures can be avoided. 

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5. Fourth law for the protection of the population in the event of an epidemic situation of national concern. (German Federal Law Gazette [Bundesgesetzblatt] 2021, Part I No. 18, Bonn, April 22, 2021).
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IssueVol 7 No 3 (2021) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/jbe.v7i3.7302
Keywords
COVID-19 Pandemic Infection risk Incidence limits Assessment parameter Risk factor

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How to Cite
1.
Rassow J. How to Reduce Misinterpretation of Quantitative Infection Risk by Assessment Parameters Associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic. jbe. 2021;7(3):310-320.