Assuming this data from China is accurate, which is a bit hard to determine, China’s measures to control the outbreak there have been successful. However, there is something to learn here.
There is something worth noticing in the CFR in China. Notice how that rate has continued climbing even though the number of new cases is falling. I simply have no guesses as to why that is happening.
China began the largest part of it’s lockdown on January 24th. This affected 35 million people, or to put that into context, almost the equivalent of 10% of the US population. That was also when they only had 26 reported deaths.
That doesn’t bode well for the slow US response. It seems unlikely that the American public would ever accept those kinds of measures in any municipality if enacted, although based on how this is already impacting Seattle, people might self-select to stay home or be required by their employers to work from home.
The most alarming thing in that area is that eight of those deaths occurred at the Life Care Center nursing facility in Kirkland. Just yesterday I had written about the risks to the elderly and provided a graph of data from the China CDC showing the case fatality rates by age group. I only hope that skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and retirement communities are planning on how to protect their residents.
Let’s move to some of the global data. There’s something very interesting in it. Look at how the case fatality rate has settled at about 3.4% since February 25th. It’s unusual to see data for forming such a straight line. Most of this is from Iran, Italy, and China. South Korea remains an outlier with the CFR still hovering at about 0.5%.
Two days ago I predicted that things would start getting busy with this virus in the US in about 1.5 weeks. I may have overestimated. We will see if I’m right by the Ides of March.