This proof of concept study aims to gain a better understanding of:
- Environmental exposures which may lead to increased Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome infection rates;
- The impact of lifestyle, health conditions, and vulnerability by age and sex;
- The impact of lockdowns and physical distancing.
These environmental, statistical, and epidemiological parameters were considered as inputs of a model that aims to predict the contagion and lethality of Covid-19 in Ireland. A whole-system approach has been applied to millions of time series data based on the principal component regression (PCR) model. To develop the PCR model, the weekly contagion and lethality rates were set as the response variables. Forty-one explanatory parameters including, mean values of weekly atmospheric pollutants (i.e. PM10, PM2.5, O3, SO2 and NO2, and Indoor radon levels) metrological parameters (i.e. precipitation amount, air temperature, wet bulb air temperature, dew point air temperature, relative humidity, vapor pressure, mean sea level pressure, predominant hourly wind speed, and sunshine duration), Sociodemographic data (self-perceived health status, population, population density, distribution of sex and age profile) together with lockdown phases were introduced as predictors.