New Case Rates and Death Rates

Current data indicate a reduction in new (read: confirmed) cases of Wuhan Virus—45,000 cases on Independence Day vs 50,000 cases the day prior.  Fun with statistics: that’s a 10% drop—wow.

It is promising, but a single datum isn’t very dispositive.

What really interested me, though, is this, also presented in the article at the link:

In contrast to the surge in positive diagnoses, the death rate has slowed mostly to the hundreds a day in recent weeks, from a peak of more than 2,000 daily during several weeks in April.


Infectious-disease epidemiologists caution that deaths typically lag behind other indicators, as the disease often progresses over the course of weeks in the most severe cases.

The rise in new case detections has only been in progress for a week, or so, and many of those detections are the result of massively increased testing finding massively increased existing infections (hence my correction above to consider “confirmed” rather than solely “new”).

With this virus’ incubation period of 2-14 days, and the fact that, if the infection proves fatal to an individual, that will occur generally from 4-11 days after hospitalization, I’ll be looking at hospitalization rates over the next week, or so, and mortality rates over the latter half of July. Those are the data most likely to be associated with the recent rise in cases detected.

New/confirmed infection rates by themselves are pretty meaningless.

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