Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Containing Covid-19 (Or Not)

In any given country, there are only two ways this virus ends.  Either it spreads everywhere, completely overwhelms the health system, and culls 5-10% of the human population (and leaves some additional number with permanent lung damage).  Or it gets contained - all the cases get tracked down, isolated, and the epidemic is stopped.

China and Korea have demonstrated that containment is possible.  The above graph shows the five day compound growth rate in the countries I'm tracking.  Those two countries are clearly getting the virus under control.  Japan is an intermediate case, and no-one knows whether to believe the Iranian numbers.

Of the western countries, Italy has made some progress with the school closures and lockdown, but the health system is badly overwhelmed, and it's still spreading with a doubling time of around four days (19%/day growth rate in cases).  Probably the full benefit of the lockdown is not apparent yet, both because it takes a while to get enforcement really working, and because cases take a while to incubate from initial infection to being diagnosed.  It's not clear which of the two possible endings Italy is headed for.

The US and the UK are both still with 30%/day growth rates, which is a doubling time of just over 2 1/2 days.  No doubt mandatory lockdowns are imminent.

Here are the crude fatality rates (current known deaths over current known cases).  Note that Italy is up over 7% - reflecting both an overwhelmed health system and an older population.

1 comment:

rjs said...

another way to look at the death rate would be to compare the deaths on any given day to the number who have been pronounced "fully recovered"...with 475 deaths today, and 1084 fully recovered, Italy's death rate would be over 30%..