Thursday, January 30, 2020

Today's Increase in the Novel Coronavirus

So cases of the Wuhan coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, are still increasing on a tight exponential path. Yesterday the number of cases increased by 36%. The day before it was 35%. If 100p% is the daily percent increase, the doubling time for that day's increase is (if you do the simple math) Dfor the day = ln(2)/ln(1+p) days, which for p=0.36 is 2.26 days.

There is a little uncertainty in this, because I don't look at the stats the same time every day. But they don't always update their data on a precise timescale, either.

What will stop exponential growth? I don't know. [If you do, leave a comment.] Something must, but what? A lack of viable victims, that is, older people with weak immune systems? So far health authorities are clearly failing. (But of course, it's an impossible problem.) The World Health Organization today declared the virus a global health emergency. Today the US saw its first case of human-to-human transmission, albeit only to the husband of the Chicago victim who recently returned from Wuhan. I would guess that a lot people in the WHO and CDC are extremely worried about this disease's potential, perhaps almost in a panic. But I have no direct proof of that.

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