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Latin America and the Caribbean SARS-CoV-2 Surveillance: Longitudinal Trend Analysis Open Access (recommended)


Resource type(s)
7-day persistence
Arellano-Bond estimator
COVID-19 surveillance system
dynamic panel data
generalized method of moments
global COVID-19 surveillance
Latin America and the Caribbean
public health surveillance
second wave
surveillance metrics
transmission deceleration
transmission jerk
transmission speed
trend analysis
Attribution 4.0 International

Post, Lori Ann
Ohiomoba, Ramael Osasogie
Maras, Ashley Francia
Watts, Sean Joseph
Moss, Charles B
Murphy, Robert Leo
Ison, Michael G
Achenbach, Chad J
Resnick, Danielle
Singh, Lauren Nadya
White, Janine Inui
Chaudhury, Azraa Sofia
Boctor, Michael Jacob
Welch, Sarah
Oehmke, James Francis
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented stress on economies, food systems, and health care resources in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Existing surveillance provides a proxy of the COVID-19 caseload and mortalities; however, these measures make it difficult to identify the dynamics of the pandemic and places where outbreaks are likely to occur. Moreover, existing surveillance techniques have failed to measure the dynamics of the pandemic. Objective: This study aimed to provide additional surveillance metrics for COVID-19 transmission to track changes in the speed, acceleration, jerk, and persistence in the transmission of the pandemic more accurately than existing metrics. Methods: Through a longitudinal trend analysis, we extracted COVID-19 data over 45 days from public health registries. We used an empirical difference equation to monitor the daily number of cases in the LAC as a function of the prior number of cases, the level of testing, and weekly shift variables based on a dynamic panel model that was estimated using the generalized method of moments approach by implementing the Arellano-Bond estimator in R. COVID-19 transmission rates were tracked for the LAC between September 30 and October 6, 2020, and between October 7 and 13, 2020. Results: The LAC saw a reduction in the speed, acceleration, and jerk for the week of October 13, 2020, compared to the week of October 6, 2020, accompanied by reductions in new cases and the 7-day moving average. For the week of October 6, 2020, Belize reported the highest acceleration and jerk, at 1.7 and 1.8, respectively, which is particularly concerning, given its high mortality rate. The Bahamas also had a high acceleration at 1.5. In total, 11 countries had a positive acceleration during the week of October 6, 2020, whereas only 6 countries had a positive acceleration for the week of October 13, 2020. The TAC displayed an overall positive trend, with a speed of 10.40, acceleration of 0.27, and jerk of -0.31, all of which decreased in the subsequent week to 9.04, -0.81, and -0.03, respectively. Conclusions: Metrics such as new cases, cumulative cases, deaths, and 7-day moving averages provide a static view of the pandemic but fail to identify where and the speed at which SARS-CoV-2 infects new individuals, the rate of acceleration or deceleration of the pandemic, and weekly comparison of the rate of acceleration of the pandemic indicate impending explosive growth or control of the pandemic. Enhanced surveillance will inform policymakers and leaders in the LAC about COVID-19 outbreaks.
Original Bibliographic Citation
Post L, Ohiomoba RO, Maras A, Watts SJ, Moss CB, Murphy RL, Ison MG, Achenbach CJ, Resnick D, Singh LN, White J, Chaudhury AS, Boctor MJ, Welch SB, Oehmke JF. Latin America and the Caribbean SARS-CoV-2 Surveillance: Longitudinal Trend Analysis. Jmir Public Health and Surveillance. 2021;7(4):14.
Related URL
Date Created
Original Identifier
(PMID) 33852413
Subject: MESH
Public Health Surveillance
Longitudinal Studies
Models, Statistical
Data Interpretation, Statistical
Health Policy
Subject: Geographic Name
Latin America
Caribbean Area
Grants and funding
Feed the Future through the US Agency for International DevelopmentUnited States Agency for International Development (USAID) [7200LA1800003]

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