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Distribution of the 2019-nCoV Epidemic and Correlation with Population Emigration from Wuhan, China

By Zeliang Chen, Qi Zhang, Yi Lu, Zhongmin Guo, Xi Zhang, Wenjun Zhang, Cheng Guo, Conghui Liao, Qianlin Li, Xiaohu Han, Jiahai Lu

Posted 12 Feb 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.02.10.20021824

BACKGROUNDSThe ongoing new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) pneumonia outbreak is spreading in China and has not reached its peak. Five millions of people had emigrated from Wuhan before the city lockdown, which potentially represent a source of virus spreaders. Case distribution and its correlation with population emigration from Wuhan in early epidemic are of great importance for early warning and prevention of future outbreak. METHODSThe officially reported cases of 2019-nCoV pneumonia were collected as of January 30, 2020. Time and location information of these cases were extracted analyzed with ArcGIS and WinBUGS. Population migration data of Wuhan City and Hubei province were extracted from Baidu Qianxi and analyzed for their correlation with case number. FINDINGSThe 2019-nCoV pneumonia cases were predominantly distributed in Hubei and other provinces of South China. Hot spot provinces included Sichuan and Yunnan provinces that are adjacent to Hubei. While Wuhan city has the highest number of cases, the time risk is relatively stable. Numbers of cases in some cities are relatively low, but the time risks are continuously rising. The case numbers of different provinces and cities of Hubei province were highly correlated with the emigrated populations from Wuhan. Lockdown of 19 cities of Hubei province, and implementation of nationwide control measures efficiently prevented the exponential growth of case number. INTERPRETATIONPopulation emigrated from Wuhan was the main infection source for other cities and provinces. Some cities with low case number but were in rapid increase. Due to the upcoming Spring Festival return transport wave, understanding of the trends of risks in different regions is of great significance for preparedness for both individuals and institutions. FUNDINGSNational Key Research and Development Program of China, National Major Project for Control and Prevention of Infectious Disease in China, State Key Program of National Natural Science of China.

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