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A Note on Early Epidemiological Analysis of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak using Crowdsourced Data

by   Giuseppe Arbia, et al.

Crowdsourcing data can prove of paramount importance in monitoring and controlling the spread of infectious diseases. The recent paper by Sun, Chen and Viboud (2020) is important because it contributes to the understanding of the epidemiology and of the spreading of Covid-19 in a period when most of the epidemic characteristics are still unknown. However, the use of crowdsourcing data raises a number of problems from the statistical point of view which run the risk of invalidating the results and of biasing estimation and hypothesis testing. While the work by Sun, Chen and Viboud (2020) has to be commended, given the importance of the topic for worldwide health security, in this paper we deem important to remark the presence of the possible sources of statistical biases and to point out possible solutions to them


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