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  1. Abstract Background

    Beginning May 7, 2022, multiple nations reported an unprecedented surge in monkeypox cases. Unlike past outbreaks, differences in affected populations, transmission mode, and clinical characteristics have been noted. With the existing uncertainties of the outbreak, real-time short-term forecasting can guide and evaluate the effectiveness of public health measures.

    Methods

    We obtained publicly available data on confirmed weekly cases of monkeypox at the global level and for seven countries (with the highest burden of disease at the time this study was initiated) from the Our World in Data (OWID) GitHub repository and CDC website. We generated short-term forecasts of new cases of monkeypox across the study areas using an ensemble n-sub-epidemic modeling framework based on weekly cases using 10-week calibration periods. We report and assess the weekly forecasts with quantified uncertainty from the top-ranked, second-ranked, and ensemble sub-epidemic models. Overall, we conducted 324 weekly sequential 4-week ahead forecasts across the models from the week of July 28th, 2022, to the week of October 13th, 2022.

    Results

    The last 10 of 12 forecasting periods (starting the week of August 11th, 2022) show either a plateauing or declining trend of monkeypox cases for all models and areas of study. According to our latest 4-weekmore »ahead forecast from the top-ranked model, a total of 6232 (95% PI 487.8, 12,468.0) cases could be added globally from the week of 10/20/2022 to the week of 11/10/2022. At the country level, the top-ranked model predicts that the USA will report the highest cumulative number of new cases for the 4-week forecasts (median based on OWID data: 1806 (95% PI 0.0, 5544.5)). The top-ranked and weighted ensemble models outperformed all other models in short-term forecasts.

    Conclusions

    Our top-ranked model consistently predicted a decreasing trend in monkeypox cases on the global and country-specific scale during the last ten sequential forecasting periods. Our findings reflect the potential impact of increased immunity, and behavioral modification among high-risk populations.

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  2. Introduction: The incidence of diarrhea, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in low-income countries such as Nepal, is temperature-sensitive, suggesting it could be associated with climate change. With climate change fueled increases in the mean and variability of temperature and precipitation, the incidence of water and food-borne diseases are increasing, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. This national-level ecological study was undertaken to provide evidence linking weather and climate with diarrhea incidence in Nepal. Method: We analyzed monthly diarrheal disease count and meteorological data from all districts, spanning 15 eco-development regions of Nepal. Meteorological data and monthly data on diarrheal disease were sourced, respectively, from the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology and Health Management Information System (HMIS) of the Government of Nepal for the period from 2002 to 2014. Time-series log-linear regression models assessed the relationship between maximum temperature, minimum temperature, rainfall, relative humidity, and diarrhea burden. Predictors with p-values < 0.25 were retained in the fitted models. Results: Overall, diarrheal disease incidence in Nepal significantly increased with 1 °C increase in mean temperature (4.4%; 95% CI: 3.95, 4.85) and 1 cm increase in rainfall (0.28%; 95% CI: 0.15, 0.41). Seasonal variation of diarrheal incidence was prominent atmore »the national level (11.63% rise in diarrheal cases in summer (95% CI: 4.17, 19.61) and 14.5% decrease in spring (95% CI: −18.81, −10.02) compared to winter season). Moreover, the effects of temperature and rainfall were highest in the mountain region compared to other ecological regions of Nepal. Conclusion: Our study provides empirical evidence linking weather factors and diarrheal disease burden in Nepal. This evidence suggests that additional climate change could increase diarrheal disease incidence across the nation. Mountainous regions are more sensitive to climate variability and consequently the burden of diarrheal diseases. These findings can be utilized to allocate necessary resources and envision a weather-based early warning system for the prevention and control of diarrheal diseases in Nepal.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  3. Adrish, Muhammad (Ed.)
    Mexico has experienced one of the highest COVID-19 mortality rates in the world. A delayed implementation of social distancing interventions in late March 2020 and a phased reopening of the country in June 2020 has facilitated sustained disease transmission in the region. In this study we systematically generate and compare 30-day ahead forecasts using previously validated growth models based on mortality trends from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation for Mexico and Mexico City in near real-time. Moreover, we estimate reproduction numbers for SARS-CoV-2 based on the methods that rely on genomic data as well as case incidence data. Subsequently, functional data analysis techniques are utilized to analyze the shapes of COVID-19 growth rate curves at the state level to characterize the spatiotemporal transmission patterns of SARS-CoV-2. The early estimates of the reproduction number for Mexico were estimated between R t ~1.1–1.3 from the genomic and case incidence data. Moreover, the mean estimate of R t has fluctuated around ~1.0 from late July till end of September 2020. The spatial analysis characterizes the state-level dynamics of COVID-19 into four groups with distinct epidemic trajectories based on epidemic growth rates. Our results show that the sequential mortality forecasts from themore »GLM and Richards model predict a downward trend in the number of deaths for all thirteen forecast periods for Mexico and Mexico City. However, the sub-epidemic and IHME models perform better predicting a more realistic stable trajectory of COVID-19 mortality trends for the last three forecast periods (09/21-10/21, 09/28-10/27, 09/28-10/27) for Mexico and Mexico City. Our findings indicate that phenomenological models are useful tools for short-term epidemic forecasting albeit forecasts need to be interpreted with caution given the dynamic implementation and lifting of social distancing measures.« less