This page has outdone its usefulness and I will no longer update it frequently.
A far superior collection of data and information can be found at at https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus.
This page is about COVID19, i.e. the disease caused by the new Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. I am not an expert in the field, but have been following developments closely since January and feel the need to collect some information. No guarantees about being correct and no need to trust me on anything, I link the sources. What I found enlightening myself might work for you, or not.
Last update: 2020-03-12
Current assessment, moody, personal, and in very broad terms: This disease will not blow over quickly, it will impact everbody over the current months or years, until a vaccine becomes available. Overwhelmed health care systems will be the biggest primary problem. In a few weeks all countries will look like northern Italy does now; except the ones like Japan and South Korea that have reacted early and strongly.
The graph of deceased in the countries/regions outside China with the highest numbers looks like this:
There are several scientists and journalists that do an outstanding job communicating on Twitter.
Among them: @HelenBraswell, @cmyeaton
More here, or just follow me.
Current best estimates on the basic parameter of the disease:
- Estimates for how many people wih COVID19 die range from 0.5% to 3% (1 2, 3) and the high estimates are from China and are more disputed.
- Being infected without symptoms seems to be the exception, so I will not distinguish IFR from CFR.
- Once people recover from COVID19, they are immune, as is common with virus infections.
- The doubling time seems to be roughly one week. This is related to R0, i.e. on average how many new cases are caused per existing case. The estimtes by country vary, S.Korea for example seems to be well on its way to R0=1, meaning the disease no longer grows.
- 10% of cases in Italy need hospitalization (1). This is a very worrying number, because it means that health care systems can get overwhelmed by even a moderate outbreak.
- incubation 4-5 days, 2 weeks possible but rare
- The age distribution of the disease CFR, together with the age distribution of populations can strongly influence the mortality. Whether this gets compensated by better health care in richer countries with older populations remains to be seen.
CFR of ~1% means that per death there are on average 100 cases, yet discovered or not. Since people do not die immediately, but after 2-4 weeks, this means a death today corresponds to around 500 current cases. With the uncertainties in CFR, incubation and doubling times, this number is very uncertain and might as well be 150 or over 1000.
But sticking to 500 cases per death for now, the 100 deaths each in S.Korea and Italy would mean 50000 infected. Even if this is an overestimate, the order of magnitude seems right, and that means many undetected cases, especially in Italy.
The point above about ICU care makes apparent why spreading out the outbreak over time helps (historic example) and should be highest priority once local containment is no longer possible. Figure 1 from here illustrates this point. We do not want everybody to get sick at once.
That same article also serves as a good primer on what you can and should do now, before your life becomes seriously affected.
But I will come back to that in more detail shortly...