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Secondary household Covid-19 transmission modelling of students returning home from university

Harper, Paul, Moore, Joshua and Woolley, Thomas 2020. Secondary household Covid-19 transmission modelling of students returning home from university. n/a

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We estimate the number of secondary Covid-19 infections caused by potentially infectious students returning from university to private homes with other occupants. Using a Monte-Carlo method and data derived from UK sources, we predict that an infectious student would, on average, infect 0.94 other household members. Or, as a rule of thumb, each infected student would generate (just less than) one secondary within-household infection. The total number of secondary cases for all returning students is dependent on the virus prevalence within the student population at the time of their departure from campus back home. Correspondingly, we provide results for prevalence ranging from 0.5\% to 15\%, which is based on observed minimum and maximum estimates from Cardiff University's asymptomatic testing service. Although the proposed estimation method is general and robust, the results are sensitive to the input data. We therefore provide Matlab code and a helpful online app ( that can be used to estimate numbers of secondary infections based on local parameter values.

Item Type: Article
Status: Submitted
Schools: Mathematics
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Additional Information: Article has been submitted to Health Systems and is currently in review. The article is currently in use by the Welsh Government for its' "...statistical modelling work to assess the potential impact of individual, collective or institutional decisions for students to return from their halls of residence to their permanent home addresses."
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 16:13

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