Weeks of Lag and Not Enough Coronavirus Tests

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Pfizer board member and former FDA commissioner, is making regular appearances on CNBC to discuss coronavirus (COVID-19).

Here are some key points
* The US has very few testing labs that can confirm coronavirus (COVID-19) and there is a two-week lag to get results back from the CDC (Center for Disease Control)
* The US has performed about 500 tests. There is likely low-level outbreaks that cannot be detected. If there was an outbreak with thousands of cases we would know about it because a hospital would get a surge of cases
* Coronavirus (COVID-19) has cases and transmission in warm countries now. This means that April or Summer and warm weather alone will not stop the virus. There could be a dip in the spread of the disease like we saw with H1N1.

Almost Half of Infected Travelers Will Not Get Detected With Airport Screening

The newest coronavirus incubation period estimate is around 6.4 days, ranging from 2-11 days. This long incubation period means that people can be unaware that they are sick for about a week, and there have been multiple reported cases of people transmitting the virus prior to the onset of symptoms.

A new study predicted that 46% of infected travelers will board planes with undetected infections, therefore limiting the effectiveness of airport screening and risking spread to other passengers and diverse locations.

Parameter values and assumptions for the baseline scenario estimating effectiveness of exit and entry screening at airports for detecting passengers infected with novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Wuhan Outbreak Seems to Be Peaking Now

The number of new cases in Wuhan seems to be going down. Modeling has suggested that the Wuhan outbreak is peaking in late February 2020.

Latest Estimate of Transmission is a Higher Infection Rate

The latest estimate of infection rate is that cases double every 2.4 days. The transmission rate is estimated at 4.7-6.0.

Quarantine and contact tracing of symptomatic individuals alone may not be effective and early, strong control measures are needed to stop transmission of the virus.

SOURCES – medrxiv, Eurosurveillance, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Disease, Doherty Institute – University of Melbourne
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

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