March 16, 2020
Many hundreds of thousands of infections will occur – but they do not all have to happen at once.
The attempt to actually contain new – pandemic was responsible for infecting hundreds of thousands of people in over 130 countries with the disease, called COVID-19 – has failed.
In less than a month, the global number of confirmed COVID-19 out of about 75,000 cases on February 20 to more than 153,000 in 15 That level of infection, as scary as it sounds in March, hide how much out-of control virus has spread, especially in communities hardest-hit. In Italy, for example – the country with the worst COVID 19 outbreaks outside China – the confirmed cases doubled from 10,000 to 20,000 in just four days (March 11 to March 15).
The rapid growth rate in Italy has already forced the emergency room to close their doors to new patients, hire hundreds of new physicians and supplies emergency appeal of basic medical equipment, such as, from abroad. Lack of contributing resources, in part, for a mortality rate of outsize COVID-19 in Italy, which is approximately 7% – twice the global average,
Officials health. take it for granted that COVID-19 will continue to infect millions of people around the world over the coming weeks and months. However, as the Italian outbreak showed that the rate at which the population becomes infected brand all the difference in whether there are enough hospital beds (and doctors, and resources) to treat pain.
In epidemiology, the idea of slowing the virus’ spread so that fewer people need to seek treatment at a certain time, known as the ‘flattening of the curve.’ This explains why so many countries are implementing “social distance” guidelines -. Including “shelter in place” in order that affects 6.7 million people in Northern California, although COVID-19 outbreak there may not seem severe
Here’s what you need to know about the curve, and why we want to flatten it.
“curve” refers to the researchers talked about the projected number of people who will contract COVID-19 over a period of time. (To be clear, this is not a prediction hard about how many people would be infected, but a number of theories that are used to model the virus’ spread.) Here’s what one looks like:
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curves take different forms, depending on the level of viral infection. It could be a steep curve, in which the virus spread exponentially (ie, the number of cases continues to double at a consistent level), and the total number of cases skyrockets to the top in a few weeks. infection curve with a sharp rise also had a steep fall; after the virus infects enough people who can be infected, the number of cases began to drop exponentially, too.
The faster the infection curve rises, the faster the local health care system will be overloaded beyond its capacity to treat people. As we see in Italy, more and more new patients may be forced to go without a bed ICU, and more and more hospitals may run out of basic supplies they need to respond to outbreaks.
A flat curve, on the other hand, assuming the same number of people ultimately infected, but during a longer period of time. Slow the rate of infection means that the health care system less stress, fewer visits to the hospital on any given day and people are sick less being turned away.
For a simple metaphor, considering the office bathroom.
“bath workplace you only have so many stalls,” Charles Bergquist, science director of the public radio show “Science Friday”. “If everyone decided to go at the same time, there is a problem. If the same number of people need to go to the restroom but spread over a few hours, it was all ok.”
As there is currently no vaccine or specific drug for treating COVID-19, and due to very limited testing in the US, the only way to flatten the curve is through collective action. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that all Americans wash their hands often, when they’re sick or suspect they may be, and started to “social distance” (basically, to avoid other people if possible) immediately.
To comply, many countries have been temporarily closed public schools, and many businesses have advised employees to work from home if possible. On March 15, that all the events of 50 people or more must be canceled or postponed for eight weeks. On Monday (16 March), six countiice in the Bay Area – covering some 6.7 million people – provides “safeguards in place” order, which means that people do not have to leave their homes except to get essentials like food or medicine.
It was in 1918, when a strain of influenza known as lead to a global pandemic. To see how to play, we can see the two US cities – Philadelphia and St. Louis -. Drew Harris, a population health researcher at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia,
warning In Philadelphia, city officials ignored from infectious disease experts that the flu is already spreading in the community. The city is instead moving forward with a great parade of hundreds of thousands of people gathered together, Harris said.
“In 48, 72 hours, thousands of people around the Philadelphia area begin to die,” said Harris. In the end, around 16,000 people from the town died within six months.
In St. Louis, meanwhile, city officials quickly implementing the strategy of social isolation. the government closed schools, limited travel and encourage personal hygiene and social distancing. As a result, the town is only 2,000 deaths saws -. One eighth of the victim in Philadelphia
City, now known as the towering Gateway Arch, has managed to average curve.
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