COVID Research & Resources Group


Expand all | Collapse all

Virus Load Models

  • 1.  Virus Load Models

    Posted 07-13-2020 17:22
    I would like to thank those of you who have set this up and who have signed up.  At the moment it is not clear what I can do myself, given other commitments, but I have already proposed Covid as the next general project for my graduate student.

    I would like to know if anyone has found modeling being done based on viral load, either within an individual, or in public spaces.  I have found some work being done at U. Illinois (Goldenfeld and Maslov) and in Brazil (Manchon is one of the authors) and elsewhere, but I have not concentrated on it.

    It seems to me that there could be something like a finite-size system phase transition when people are in a room long enough and when one of them is releasing a significant viral load.  Of course, viral load and significant won't take on meaning until some modeling is done.

    This suggestion does not consider cases where infected person A is in close contact for a long time with person B.  It is a matter of a collective effect with lots of asymptomatic people who are either immune to the virus, slightly susceptible to it, or very susceptible to it.

    I imagine that there are many scenarios here and that Monte Carlo methods would be a valuable tool.  People who have worked on avalanches might be well-positioned for work on this sort of thing.

    Wayne Saslow
    Texas A&M Univ
    College Station TX

  • 2.  RE: Virus Load Models

    Topical Group Officer
    Posted 07-14-2020 00:28

    Great thoughts! We are planning to establish some resources to data that would allow modeling as you suggest. The key would be, as always with modeling, to get high quality data (which often are not acquired with modeling in mind).

    Would you mind providing full references to the works of Goldenfeld and Maslov and Manchon?



    Robert Jeraj
    University of Wisconsin - Madison
    Madison WI
    (608) 263-8619

  • 3.  RE: Virus Load Models

    Posted 07-14-2020 10:45
    Dear Robert,

    Here is pretty much all I have at the moment:

    For Manchein (originally misspelled as Manchon)  and references deriving from that work, see  

    "How relevant is the decision of containment measures against COVID-19 applied ahead of time?"
    Eduardo L. Brugnago1, Rafael M. da Silva1, Cesar Manchein2, Marcus W. Beims1

    For Goldenberg and Maslov, I only know of the description at: Goldenfeld and Maslov at Pritzker's COVID-19 press conference Goldenfeld and Maslov at Pritzker's COVID-19 press conferenceGoldenfeld and Maslov at Pritzker's COVID-19 press conference

    Also medRxiv preprint doi: "Modelling fatality curves of COVID-19 and the effectiveness of intervention strategies" Giovani L. Vasconcelos1, Antoˆnio M. S. Maceˆdo2, Raydonal Ospina3, Francisco A. G. Almeida4, Gerson C. Duarte-Filho4, and Ineˆs C. L. Souza5

    Also: "Strong correlations between power-law growth of COVID-19 in four continents and the inefficiency of soft quarantine strategies" : Chaos 30, 041102 (2020);

    Also: "To mask or not to mask: Modeling the potential for face mask use by the general public to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic": 
    Infectious Disease Modelling 5 (2020) 293e308, 

    Also: "Modelling the COVID-19 epidemic and implementation of population-wide interventions in Italy"
    Nature Medicine,

    IMHO this is a wide-open field, especially for graduate students with common sense and computing skills.  I would advise them that it is better to start with a bad model and learn how and what to calculate than torture themselves about getting a really good model.  The model can be improved later.

    Best Regards,


    Wayne Saslow
    Texas A&M Univ
    College Station TX