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COVID-19, epidemiology, pidemic curve, incidence rate
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is a puzzling phenomenon and complete knowledge regarding its various aspects is yet to be available.
Objective: This research aims to present a comparative profile of the epidemiological features of the COVID-19 pandemic in Iraq and several other countries.
Methods: This paper used data on the daily cases of COVID-19 pandemic in Iraq and eight other countries—three from the Eastern Mediterranean region (Bahrain, Iran and Lebanon), four from Europe (Greece, Switzerland, Austria and Norway), along with Brazil. These countries were chosen based on the similarity in the date of onset of the pandemic. Relevant data were obtained from several websites, including Corona World meters, www.sehhty and the Iraqi Ministry of Health for daily reports on new cases.
Results: Substantial variations were found in the time trend of COVID-19 cases (epidemic curves) and three epidemiological outcome measurements (incidence rate, case fatality ratio and cause-specific mortality rate) during the first five months of the pandemic in the nine countries studied in this paper. The four European countries—Greece, Switzerland, Austria and Norway—achieved a leveled curve and still maintain such leveling despite their differences in the three outcome measurements. The rest of the countries could not achieve any sustainable leveling in their epidemic curves and also had varying outcome measurements. Among these countries, Bahrain showed the highest incidence rate (15531.3/million) but the lowest case fatality ratio (0.4%). Brazil had the highest cause-specific mortality rate (274.7/million), and Greece had the highest case fatality ratio (12.2%). The other countries had values that were within these ranges.
Conclusions: The outcome of COVID-19 within the last five months of experience with the pandemic is very difficult to predict. Different countries have exhibited diverse infection-related behaviors and epidemiological parameters. A study of the multiple factors that might be behind such variations would be helpful in facilitating a successful exit from the pandemic.
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