Friday, April 17, 2020

Underestimating COVID-19 Cases Preprint

A study I wrote about how test restrictions and rapid growth of the COVID-19 epidemic can lead to vast underestimates of the actual infections is now available on the MedRxiv preprint server. It shows that the actual number of cases can be 50 to 100 times higher than the official "confirmed cases" number.

Here is one figure from the study that illustrates the delay between the reporting of daily "confirmed cases" (the shaded area curve) and actual infections:

Model results showing the time delay between daily infections and confirmed cases in the absence of government interventions.
This graph shows the percent of infections detected under a "restrictive" testing policy like the one currently in place in the US, and how it relates to how fast the epidemic grows:

For more details, have a look at the study. You can download the full length PDF file from the link above, or use this direct link.

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