COVID-19 Transmission Dynamics Underlying Epidemic Waves in Kenya
Samuel P C Brand,
George M Warimwe,
Ifedayo M. O Adetifa,
J. Anthony G. Scott,
Lynette I Ochola-Oyier,
Charles N. Agoti,
Matt J Keeling,
D James Nokes,
Posted 20 Jun 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.06.17.21259100
Posted 20 Jun 2021
Policy decisions on COVID-19 interventions should be informed by a local, regional and national understanding of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Epidemic waves may result when restrictions are lifted or poorly adhered to, variants with new phenotypic properties successfully invade, or when infection spreads to susceptible sub-populations. Three COVID-19 epidemic waves have been observed in Kenya. Using a mechanistic mathematical model we explain the first two distinct waves by differences in contact rates in high and low social-economic groups, and the third wave by the introduction of a new higher-transmissibility variant. Reopening schools led to a minor increase in transmission between the second and third waves. Our predictions of current population exposure in Kenya (~75% June 1st) have implications for a fourth wave and future control strategies.
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