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Calculating the beginnings of the coronavirus epidemic

Posted by Olga Schibli @olgaschibli, Tue, Mar 3 3:00am

Researchers from the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering at ETH Zurich in Basel used a statistical model they had developed in recent years. ETH Zurich is the Technical School of the University of Zurich. (One of top 10 World Universities)
https://ethz.ch/en/news-and-events/eth-news/news/2020/02/the-beginnings-of-the-coronavirus-epidemic.html
Some important points:
• “The widespread hypothesis that the first person was infected at an animal market in November is still plausible,” Prof. Stadler
• “Our data effectively rule out the scenario that the virus circulated in humans for a long time before that.” Prof. Stadler
• “Because viral genomes are constantly changing, Stadler could use these changes to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the virus. “Using statistical methods, we can calculate how many people were infected at any point in time in the past,” she explains. Her analysis showed that on 23 January, between 4,000 and 19,000 people must have been infected. At that time there were 581 confirmed cases of the disease. This means that in the most extreme case, only 1 in 33 infected persons appeared in the official statistics; in the best case 1 in 7.”

Very interesting insights, @olgaschibli. If I am understanding this right, this research confirms what I've been reading lately, which is that mortality rate is probably much much lower than 2% given that only the most serious cases have been tallied. The actual mortality could be much lower than 1% – and maybe in line with the flu. Is that a fair conclusion from this research?

Here is a link to a story about <1% mortality: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/926089

Liked by Matthew Rehrl

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