Questions tagged [epidemiology]

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Why did COVID-19 spread so much faster than H1N1/09 in China?

Despite China's success in controlling the COVID-19 outbreak insofar, a March 31 Science paper that analyzes the response has this intriguing (and alarming) observation The dispersal of COVID-19 ...
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Where can I find the total number of people living with or beyond cancer for the UK and globally, as up to date as possible (<2020)?

I'm trying to work out the total prevalence of cancer (all types) in the UK and globally, defined as someone who is alive and has had a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives. I'm really ...
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What are South Korea and Japan doing right about COVID-19?

This chart shows South Korea and Japan significantly outperforming the rest of the world in preventing spread of COVID-19. My understanding is that everyone there is wearing surgical masks in public ...
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Was it a lab accident or something else that re-released H1N1 in 1977?

In the highly cited 2006 review of Taubenberger and Morens it is mentioned that: The impact of this pandemic was not limited to 1918–1919. All influenza A pandemics since that time, and indeed ...
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Why are there pandemics which lasts only a year like the 2009 swine flu pandemic, but others like the seasonal flu appear every year?

Supposedly the 2009 swine flu pandemic or swine flu H1N1/09 lasted from January 2009 to August 2010, but other pandemics like the seasonal flu appear every year. I understand the seasonal flu virus ...
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How to calculate the doubling rate for infections? [migrated]

I'm playing with the JHU nCOV data and looking to calculate the doubling rate in my region (Western Australia) - I can get it down to an integer value via a kind of brute force (halve the current case ...
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1answer
15 views

Efficiency of age-dependent and geographical quarantines?

Most western countries let young people transmit the virus slowly over a period of 1-2 years while keeping the economy in lockdown and letting the old and frail people shop and work together. That ...
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34 views

Why would officals hide number of COVID-19 cases? [closed]

This story is a little confusing: Suspected, confirmed COVID-19 patients filling roughly 1 in 4 Ontario ICU beds More than 430 patients in Ontario hospital intensive care beds have either tested ...
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Effect of Covid-19 lockdowns on other diseases?

So I am sitting here at home in Covid-19 lock down. It got me wondering if there any prior evidence of the effects of lockdowns on the spread of others diseases? Or if there there are any solid ...
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1answer
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What is the main way COVID-19 spreads?

Reading numerous news articles about COVID-19, I got confused as to what is its main transmission route. In particular, I am confused as to whether it is direct landing of respiratory droplets in ...
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1answer
27 views

What's the evidence for “flattening the curve” by social distancing measures in the context of contagious respiratory diseases?

This is more of Skeptics-style question, but since I only know of people on Stack Exchange challenging this (so it would not be a "notable claim" for Skeptics)... I'm asking here. For context as what ...
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Steps to ensure incoming foods from many grocery bags do not carry Covid-19 virus into the Refrigerator, Kitchen, Home?

PPS: If this is more Biology or LifeHacks then please feel to move it there. But this is a key VIRUS VECTOR that will come indoors and we are not all competent to "sanitize" the variety of items. ...
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32 views

Is there an inflection point in Coronavirus outbreaks where you can't contain the epidemy anymore?

So far only a few countries have been able to reduce through policies the number of people infected in their countries after being exposed to thousands of infected, viz. China (including Taiwan, Hong ...
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Have experts considered the option of Controlled & Isolated Covid-19 Exposure for very low-risk groups? [duplicate]

I have not seen this as an option in the media and wondered if this has been considered and rejected. Unless the virus has shown to be mutating frequently, this option would allow low-risk groups to ...
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46 views

Confusing COVID article - Why would keeping the doubling time above the incubation period flatten the curve?

I stumbled upon this boiled down news article which makes the statement that if we get the doubling time for coronavirus cases above the incubation period (5.8 days), we will be able to effectively "...
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1answer
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Did SARS-CoV-2 spread into Japan, USA, Taiwan, and other countries from single super spreaders?

What's the data to inform us how this infection spread so quickly? It seems that the virus first appeared in around November 2019 in China and an infected person visited the seafood market in Huanan, ...
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Is the length of an epidemic linked to the strictness of the confinement?

From my understanding the measures to confine the population are designed not to protect it from getting infected but to prevent the hospitals to be overflown by too many simultaneous cases. In other ...
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1answer
344 views

Why is a (simple) mask not recommended for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients?

Information about (simple) mask wearing (concerning covid19) is a complete mystery to me. On several official places it is not recommended for a person without symptoms to wear a mask. For example: ...
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2answers
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Covid-19: Is it possible to get to r0 < 1 through social distancing measures?

I'm trying to wrap my head around some of the information I'm reading about how to fight Covid-19 and conflicting opinions about how much "social distancing" is required to avert a disaster, or ...
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12 views

Fatality rate estimation

I'm a non-medical data scientist needing to quickly familiarise myself with epidemiological methodologies. (Don't worry I'm not going anywhere near modelling..) The definitions of case fatality rate ...
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Empirial evidence that standing 1.5-2m apart reduces risk of airborne contagion

One of the measures proposed by the Dutch government to minimise the risk of spreading/acquiring the Covid-19 virus is keeping a distance of 1.5 meters from other people. Similar advice is given in ...
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How reliable is the often-quoted figure of 0.1% mortality of the flu?

In many articles on the Corona virus there is often a mortality rate for seasonal flu of 0.1% cited. Here just one randomly selected example (but I have seen the number in many, many different ...
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1answer
66 views

Could the Cuban coronavirus antiviral be a mass cure for COVID-19?

Sometime around 1981, the Cubans invented an antiviral treatment for coronavirus. What is its relative efficacy against COVID-19? What are the pathways and obstacles for it making its way to being a ...
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1answer
66 views

How does a possible strategy look like after the COVID-19 outbreak is under control?

After several month of fighting against a nation wide epidemic China seems to have the spreading of SARS-CoV-2 under control assuming the official numbers are correct. While the rest of the world is ...
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2answers
168 views

Could increased testing for COVID-19 slow its spread enough to allow the relaxation of social distancing measures?

Can the US increase its capacity for COVID-19 testing fast enough to accomplish simultaneously: 1) slowing the spread of disease to allow hospitals to provide care for the infected, and 2) ...
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Is a nightly curfew an effective intervention strategy for limiting the spread of an infectious disease?

The governing bodies of several geographic areas hit by disease outbreaks will sometimes impose a nightly curfew on their citizens, restricting or limiting the ability of their citizens from going ...
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159 views

Can methylated alcohol be used as disinfectant during Corona crisis

First things first: I am not a medical specialist. Friends and family are working as caretakers. Disinfectant handcleansing are sold-out/unavailable. That is why I decided to ask my question on this ...
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2answers
56 views

Self quarantine for travel in Europe?

I just got back from the Netherlands and read a notice on the CDC web site that says I "must" self quarantine for 14 days. I guess I don't understand. I think the Netherlands has 2 cases and my home ...
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1answer
62 views

Containment vs herd-immunity strategies and their mutual (in)compatibility [closed]

In the recent Covid-19 outbreak, the UK government's "herd-immunity" approach to mitigate the crisis has received a lot of criticism. If so many other countries have already decided to pursue a ...
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3answers
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R0 as measure of transmissibility depends on external factors. Is there a more objective measure?

For example: during the current covid 19 outbreak the reported numbers are number of infections after various measures like social distancing or quarantine have been used - so it doesn't make much ...
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1answer
33 views

As epidemiological countermeasures, why are flights cancelled and surface transport is not?

An early measure to avoid the spread of COVID-19 has been the cancellations of flights from infected zones, e.g.: https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-spain-flights/corrected-spain-...
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inoculation in the absence of a vaccine

In cases where there is a coming epidemic of a disease which has no vaccine, but a very low mortality rate among healthy people, couldn't it make sense for a subset of the population to (voluntarily) ...
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How does Incubation time distort statistics?

It takes 7 days on average for the coronavirus to show symptoms. A person is contagious during that time. Should we be correcting the statistic like this for real number of cases? In the above graph ...
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1answer
61 views

Is standing apart 2m an appropriate Social Distancing measure for choirs

In our choir, we are discussing measures to slow the spread of the novel Coronavirus in our community. However, I lack understanding about how the virus spreads in a closed room. The German Public ...
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ultimately, 60-70 percent of the population will have been infected - where does that number come from

As the German chancellor said today, by the end of the year 60-70% of the population will have been through a COVID-19 infection. Where does that number come from? The basic mechanism is clear, and ...
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3answers
68 views

Contraction-to-contagion duration for covid-19?

I've read that the incubation period of the covid-19 virus ranges from 2 to 14 days with rare exceptions (e.g. here). However, a person carrying a virus could theoretically be contagious and transmit ...
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68 views

Is there a model that explains why Italy is the second most affected country by COVID-19?

I'm wondering if there's a model which explains why Italy is currently, judging by the data, the second most affected country by COVID-19. I'm not only talking about deaths but also infections. It ...
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Do pharmacies' terminals spread infections?

Everybody who's purchasing medicine in a pharmacy has to write a signature on a touchscreen payment terminal, either with his/her finger or by using the stylos attached to the terminal. This practice ...
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172 views

What data is available on hospitalization rates of COVID-19 patients by risk factor? [closed]

What data and analysis is available on hospitalization rates of COVID-19 patients by age and pre-existing condition? Estimates of death rates have been communicated, but I have found no similar ...
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Is there a spread of immunity agains viruses due to failed infections?

As an interested layperson (having small kids) I was told and read that some viruses are extremely infectious. E.g., very few virus particles of Norovirus (some say less than five) can cause an ...
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1answer
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Would facemasks reduce virus transmisions in vulnerable populations?

The US surgeon general has asked (tweeted) the public to not buy face masks, because the claim is that healthcare workers need them more. CDC does recommend: Facemasks should be used by people ...
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1answer
91 views

Why getting off the transport where person has coughed is not going to help?

There is such piece of the dialog between journalist and the doctor (in the middle of an interview about Coronavirus): -If somebody's coughing on the bus should you get off? -No, getting off isn't ...
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108 views

Why are there so few Covid-19 critical cases in South Korea?

According to Covid-19 statistics there are currently 3150 people affected by Covid-19 in South Korea, while critical cases + death are 27 i.e. less the 1% of the infected. However, on Diamond Princess,...
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How does the mortality rate of corona-virus compare to regular “flu”? [closed]

How does the mortality rate of coronavirus compare to regular "flu" ? Are there enough statistical data to make a good comparison ? Would it be more accurate to compare it to a specific flu such as "...
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Looking for references describing the physical transmission of rhinoviruses and coronaviruses

I'm looking for reputable reference works that describe the physical aspects of how particles containing rhinoviruses and coronaviruses travel through the environment during disease transmission. I'm ...
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In what time frame exactly was the 2009 H1N1 fatality rate overestimated?

I've read that "It's good to remember that when H1N1 influenza came out in 2009, estimates of case fatality were 10 per cent," said David Fisman, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto, ...
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1answer
209 views

What is a sophisticated estimate of the 2019-nCoV fatality rate?

I've read through this Q&A: Is the mortality rate of 2019-nCoV 41%? My understanding from reading that Q&A is that in the early phase of an outbreak, there are two naive ways to estimate ...
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2answers
141 views

Will there ever be a universal vaccine for the common cold?

If I get infected once with the virus which causes a common cold, does that mean I will not get infected with the same strain of the virus ever in my lifetime? Is the immune system capable and smart ...
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1answer
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How do you distinguish between “cure” and “recovery” in terms of medical terminology?

​‎I hear a lot of people using the words "cure" and "recovery" interchangeably. Are these two words interchangable in epidemiology? What's the difference between these two in terms of medical ...
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Might the coronavirus be transmitted by packages shipped from China? [duplicate]

There is currently a coronavirus outbreak in China. I order many packages from China, mostly electronics parts. I see that I have dealt with distributors on Aliexpress from Wuhan, the coronavirus ...