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Figure Open Access

Suitability Map of COVID-19 Virus Spread

Gianpaolo Coro

This image reports a Maximum Entropy model that estimates suitable locations for COVID-19 spread, i.e. places that could favour the spread of the virus just in terms of environmental parameters.

The model was trained just on locations in Italy that have reported a rate of new infections higher than the geometric mean of all Italian infection rates. The following environmental parameters were used, which are correlated to those used by other studies:

  • Average Annual Surface Air Temperature in 2018 (NASA)
  • Average Annual Precipitation in 2018 (NASA)
  • CO2 emission (natural+artificial) averaged between January 1979 and December 2013 (Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service)
  • Elevation (NOAA ETOPO2)

A higher resolution map is also attached.

The model indicates highest correlation to infection rate for CO2 around 0.03 gCm^−2day^−1, for Temperature around 11.8 °C, and for Precipitation around 0.3 kg m^-2  s^-1, whereas Elevation is poorly correlated.

One interesting result is that the model indicates, among others, the Hubei region in China as a high-probability location, and Iran (around Teheran) as a suited location for virus' spread, but the model was not trained on these regions, i.e. it did not know about the actual spread in these regions.

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