Friday, February 21, 2020

Diamond Princess Rate Of Infection From Coronavirus Gives Window Into True Rate Of Infections World-Wide

The Rate Of Diamond Princess Infections Suggest Worldwide Infections Are Much Higher Than Official Reports

Eric Ross

SummaryThe Diamond Princess cruise ship is the largest controlled COVID-19 coronavirus infected population outside of China
  • 20% of the ship were infected over three weeks
  • From this, it suggests the rate of official reported infections (largely in China) is likely too low
  • This corroborates well with what our models have been saying: official reported infections are likely too low
  • From our models, far more people have likely been infected, but the death rate is also (thankfully) coming in lower than expected – worse than the flu, but perhaps in-line or lower than SARS, and definitely not a death sentence
  • Two passengers died last night from the Diamond Princess (male 87 and female 84) after being airlifted from the ship to a hospital a week ago, which implies a 1-2% death rate
  • And 14 days might not be long enough to conclusively prevent COVID-19 transmission, from the Diamond Princess experience, although passengers have now been released

The rate of Diamond Princess infections suggest worldwide infections are likely much higher than official reports
  • From the log scale chart below, the rate of Diamond Princess infections is much higher than infections suggested by official data (on log charts, lines with the same slope have the same growth rates)
  • Additionally, the Diamond Princess growth is very stable along the growth line versus the official data which doesn’t seem to follow a growth trend
  • Extending the fitted Diamond Princess line back to Patient Zero shows the first patient likely occurred on 21 January 2020 – in very good agreement with the actual assumed Patient Zero arriving on the cruise on the afternoon of 20 January
  • There is a slight possibility that massive quarantines in Hubei and China overall have dramatically slowed the infections rate, but we believe other possibilities are more likely

Cruise ships give us some of the best looks of the COVID-19 coronavirus
  • This is as close to a clinical trial as we will likely get
  • We can study rates of infections directly
  • An isolated, fixed-number population
  • No interaction with other populations (different from, say, Wuhan where 5m people were said to have fled before quarantine)
  • And free from lack of testing kits, medical staff, Chinese government determinations of “acceptable diagnosis techniques”, self-treating patients, and other data influences (organic or political)

  • China’s Hubei province acknowledged there methods for classifying infections was not counting many infections
  • They relied only on a nucleotide analysis and most of China is short of nucleotide tests
  • Hubei is the ONLY province which has announced an official change in diagnosis techniques
  • Medical staff and CT scans are below demand as well
  • For those taking the tests, there are false negatives for these tests (a normal issue)
  • Many patients are unwilling or unable to go to the hospitals to be tested – fear of being quarantined, or of catching the virus there
  • Many people who are infected will ride it out and be fine, regardless if they show up to be tested (this doesn’t seem to be like Ebola where 60+% of patients die, and even more without medical intervention)
  • Additionally it could be intentional:
    • It is possible many infected patients are not being tested to keep official numbers low
    • And there is little incentive for Chinese officials (who want to portray a sense of calm) to test patients who have already died (although this would be wise to help learn more about the virus)

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