Each Wuhan coronavirus patient infects 2 or 3 new people, scientific analyses show

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/01/25/each-person-with-wuhan-coronav.html

“It is unclear at the current time whether this outbreak can be contained within China”


Always the best source for infectious disease developments:

International Society for Infectious Diseases

Latest update, with links to previous postings:


…user name checks out… Taco Chunks and infectious disease links…


Thanks for real though…


So if I’m calculating this correctly, after 20 steps in the chain of infection, you have somewhere from 1 million [2^20] and 3.5 billion [3^20] new cases. This sounds bad.

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Can someone please verify if his math is good? Would like to sleep tonight, or at least not sleep for a good reason.

I’m taking another look at that. Figure 2.5 new infections per patient every two weeks, the reported incubation period. I’m looking at more than the entire population of the planet in 50 weeks. 2.5^25=8,881,784,200. Yes, please, someone verify if my math is good.

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Not everyone will be sick at the same time. People who got it in the first round will recover, and so on.

As more people gain immunity the infection rate should slow since there will be fewer new hosts to infect.

Finally, if the virus becomes too deadly its transmissibility will go down. Killing the host makes it harder to infect new people.


True, yes. Encouraging, no. As a potential dead host, can I vote no on that?


I saw that movie. Would not see again.

I think it’s a sign of our times that people seem to be freaking out way more over this than they have even in the recent past when it comes to Ebola, MERS, and SARS. Not to mention influenza which kills many people, including in the USA, every year. Is this a reflection of our concern that government has failed? I can see how the Trump era would bring that about.

I think Ebola, MERS and SARS educated people on the maths of epidemics - so more people are aware of how dangerous it is to let them get out of control now, and how important the early responses are. I don’t think it has anything to do with Trump and his cronies. The CDC certainly won’t refuse to deal with this.

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