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Collaboration opportunity: Monkeypox virus forecasting

There has been a recent reported increase in monkeypox infections in countries such as the US and Europe where the disease is not endemic. As of 20 May at 4PM EST there have been a total of 146 suspected and confirmed cases of monkeypox in countries where the disease is not typically found and on 20 May, 2022 the World Health Organization hosted a Strategic and Technical Advisory Group meeting on the monkeypox outbreak.

To support public health decision making about the transmission and burden of the virus, we have launched a human judgment forecasting effort to aggregate probabilistic predictions about the trajectory of the monkeypox virus. 

As an expert in public health, epidemiology, the modeling of infectious disease, and/or virology we ask that you take time to submit probabilistic forecasts for the following questions through the Metaculus platform as soon as possible:

  • Transmission
  1. Total estimated monkeypox infections in 2022
  2. Total monkeypox cases in Europe as of 1 July
  3. Total monkeypox cases in USA as of 1 July 
  4. Total monkeypox cases in Canada as of 1 July
  5. How many countries will confirm at least one case of monkeypox by 31st July 2022?
  6. Number of US states with monkeypox cases on July 1, 2022

 

  • Public health policy and decision making 
  1. WHO declares that monkeypox is a PHEIC

 

Metaculus is a free browser-based platform for collecting crowdsourced predictive densities of targets of interest. A forecast is composed of a convex combination of up to five logistic distributions or a binary yes/no question. Predictions can be submitted and revised as many times as you wish. Details about forecast submission can be found here https://www.metaculus.com/help/faq/#howpredict

Please feel free to send these questions to colleagues and close contacts who you feel too are experts in the fields of public health, epidemiology, the modeling of infectious disease and virology. 

We also ask that you volunteer your name and affiliation to lend credence to these ensemble forecasts and acknowledge your time and effort to improve public health decision making. Please use the following link to add this information: https://lehigh.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6lK94vY8Nyhohr8

We plan to incorporate these predictions in a manuscript and submit them for publication so that we can send, as fast as possible, rapid information about the evolving monkeypox virus. Those who choose to volunteer their name and affiliation in the above link will be included in a table of experts who contributed predictions to this work. Individual predictions will be de-identified. 

Thank you for helping us in this effort to attempt to support public health decision making with rapid human judgment forecasts of the transmission and burden of the monkeypox virus. 

Please feel free to send any questions about this effort to mcandrew@lehigh.edu, Thomas McAndrew, Assistant Professor, Lehigh University. 

 
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