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The Epidemic Volatility Index: an early warning tool for epidemics
  • Polychronis Kostoulas
Polychronis Kostoulas
Faculty of Public Health, University of Thessaly, Greece. Email: pkost@uth.gr
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Abstract

The objective of this work is to present the Epidemic Volatility Index (EVI), an early warning tool for upcoming epidemic waves. EVI is based on the volatility of the newly reported cases per unit of time, ideally per day, and issues an early warning if the rate of the volatility change exceeds a threshold. EVI is simple and its application on data from the current COVID-19 pandemic, revealed a consistent and stable performance in predicting the waves of the COVID-19 epidemic for each one of the world countries. The application of EVI in the case of other epidemics and syndromic surveillance is straightforward and its combination with existing alarm systems will promote the early implementation of appropriate interventions and the successful containment of outbreaks.