Based on daily data pulled from the Yuan Talks surrounding China's coronavirus outbreak, the daily mortality rate (2.11%) and the daily rate of increase in reported deaths (17.4%) has hit a new low. Additionally, the daily rate of increase in number of reported cases notched its second lowest reading, with only the day prior showing a smaller increase in reported cases.
Further, while there are reports of the virus spreading well outside of China, as of today, the World Health Organization reports that over 99% of cases are in China (14,248 cases out of 14,380). That is not to minimize the risk of contagion, it is simply a matter of reported fact.
Caution in Using Available Data
There are reasons to be cautious with the numbers reported out of China surrounding the coronavirus. On January 30th, 2020 STAT wrote "Limited data may be skewing assumptions about severity of coronavirus outbreak, experts say."
Here is a crucial snippet from the article:
The approach, the experts told STAT, is likely resulting in both an underestimate in the total number of cases and flawed assumptions about fatality rates calculated by those who ignore the repeated caution that it’s too soon to do that math.
The experts were quick to note that the Chinese are not willfully underreporting cases. Rather, the approach is a testament to how challenging data collection can be during the early days of an epidemic. When thousands of sick people show up at hospitals looking for care, there is no time to go searching for people who have mild symptoms and who have stayed home.
With a the caveat that the data may not be fully accurate, we can still examine the rates of change, which even if the data is wrong, could give us a clue as to the direction of the virus' proliferation.
In the table below we share the daily number of reported confirmed cases, the per cent increase, the daily number of reported deaths, the per cent increase, and finally the daily mortality rate, respectively.
As the lede indicates, the daily mortality rate (2.11%) and the daily rate of increase in reported deaths (17.4%) has hit a new day over day low. Additionally, the daily rate of increases in the number of reported cases notched its second lowest reading, with only the day prior showing a smaller increase.
Further, the data also avails itself to a reported mortality rate trend -- it has stabilized.
The data has another conclusion which is undisputed, this virus appears to be spreading rapidly and is deadly.
We conclude with a message from the World Health Organization, made on February 1, 2020:
Asymptomatic infection may be rare, and transmission from an asymptomatic person is very rare with other coronaviruses, as we have seen with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus. Thus, transmission from asymptomatic cases is likely not a major driver of transmission.
Finally, we note that to date, only one death has been reported outside of China (and this data does not rely on trusting the Chinese government's numbers).
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