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While mathematical models of disease transmission are widely used to inform public health decision-makers globally, the uncertainty inherent in results are often poorly communicated. We outline some potential sources of uncertainty in epidemic models, present traditional methods used to illustrate uncertainty and discuss alternative presentation formats used by modelling groups throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, by drawing on the experience of our own recent modelling, we seek to contribute to the ongoing discussion of how to improve upon traditional methods used to visualise uncertainty by providing a suggestion of how this can be presented in a clear and simple manner.

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Department of Statistics, University of Oxford, 24-29 St Giles', Oxford OX1 3LB, UK; NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, The Ronald Ross Building, University of Liverpool, 8 West Derby Street, Liverpool L69 7BE, UK; MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis & WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Modelling, Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics, Imperial College London, St Mary's Campus, Norfolk Place, W2 1PG London, UK. Electronic address:


Humans, Uncertainty, Pandemics, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2