The Role of Social Factors on Spread and Mortality
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The Role of Social Factors on Spread and Mortality

A PROJECT STUDYING DIFFUSION FACTORS INVOLVES COVID CRISIS LAB, CERGAS, THE VIROLOGIST ILARIA CAPUA AND CERN

The project "Diffusion Factors and Mortality from Covid-19" is the result of a collaboration with virologist Ilaria Capua from the University of Florida. It started in March, when the multidimensionality of the COVID phenomenon began to fully emerge. The large study includes several work packages, which aim to reconstruct the data of real mortality at the municipal, regional and international levels, but also the differences that affect male or female subjects in consideration of socio-behavioral factors, comorbidity variables and possible repercussions of the pandemic on other pathologies.
 
“From the initial idea provided by Ilaria Capua, the work group has expanded and today includes many subjects, including CERN in Geneva. Its formidable computing power has been provided to process collected databases, which are often uneven, analyze the data and cross-reference the different factors," explains Elio Borgonovi, Professor of Economics and Management of Public Administration and President of CERGAS. "Today we can start thinking about the first results."
 
Starting from the data of deceased people who tested positive for the virus declared by various countries and predictive analyses, for example, a more realistic mortality rate for COVID-19 could be calculated, as well as a weighted average which could be used to estimate the patients infected in different countries. "Some of these data are now in the hands of CERGAS, where my colleague Benedetta Pongiglione is processing image maps with the evolution of the situation week by week for about 7200 municipalities, according to the latest data released by ISTAT," says the professor. “Among the most important research objectives, however, is that of introducing into the calculations other possible causes of the pandemic, from pollution to the transportation network to social relations. The last factor, in particular, is the newest element and the role of social aggregators present in a territory still needs to be compared to the area's propensity to spread the virus."

by Emanuele Elli

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