- Up one level
- Clinical/Virological Studies
- Communicating with the public
- Control Measures
- Empirical epidemiologic studies
- Epidemiologic models and projections
- News reports
- Tracking the pandemic
Includes an epidemic calculator
- U.S. government response
- UNC fall 2020
- Webinars, interviews
- *Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand
Neil M. Ferguson, Daniel Laydon, Gemma Nedjati-Gilani, et al. Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, 16 March 2020, DOI: https://doi.org/10.25561/77482
The global impact of COVID-19 ... is the most serious seen in a respiratory virus since the 1918 H1N1 influenza pandemic. Here we present the results of epidemiological modelling which has informed policymaking in the UK and other countries in recent weeks. In the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine, we assess the potential role of a number of public health measures – so-called non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) – aimed at reducing contact rates in the population and thereby reducing transmission of the virus. In the results presented here, we apply a previously published microsimulation model to two countries: the UK (Great Britain specifically) and the US. We conclude that the effectiveness of any one intervention in isolation is likely to be limited, requiring multiple interventions to be combined to have a substantial impact on transmission. Two fundamental strategies are possible: (a) mitigation, which focuses on slowing but not necessarily stopping epidemic spread – reducing peak healthcare demand while protecting those most at risk of severe disease from infection, and (b) suppression, which aims to reverse epidemic growth, reducing case numbers to low levels and maintaining that situation indefinitely. Each policy has major challenges. We find that that optimal mitigation policies (combining home isolation of suspect cases, home quarantine of those living in the same household as suspect cases, and social distancing of the elderly and others at most risk of severe disease) might reduce peak healthcare demand by 2/3 and deaths byhalf. However, the resulting mitigated epidemic would still likely result in hundreds of thousands of deaths and health systems (most notably intensive care units) being overwhelmed many times over. For countries able to achieve it, this leaves suppression as the preferred policy option. We show that in the UK and US context, suppression will minimally require a combination of social distancing of the entire population, home isolation of cases and household quarantine of their family members. This may need to be supplemented by school and university closures, though it should be recognised that such closures may have negative impacts on health systems due to increased absenteeism. The major challenge of suppression is that this type of intensive intervention package – or something equivalently effective at reducing transmission – will need to be maintained until a vaccine becomes available (potentially 18 months or more) – given that we predict that transmission will quickly rebound if interventions are relaxed. We show that intermittent social distancing – triggered by trends in disease surveillance – may allow interventions to be relaxed temporarily in relative short time windows, but measures will need to be reintroduced if or when case numbers rebound. Last, while experience in China and now South Korea show that suppression is possible in the short term, it remains to be seen whether it is possible long-term, and whether the social and economic costs of the interventions adopted thus far can be reduced.
- *Reopening scenarios for academia
- Announcing a National Emergency Library to Provide Digitized Books to Students and the Public
From The Internet Archive
- CDC Plan, prepare, and respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019
Resources for home
- Complexity of the Basic Reproduction Number (R0)
Paul L. Delamater, Erica J. Street, Timothy F. Leslie, Y. Tony Yang, and Kathryn H. Jacobsen
Emerging Infectious Diseases, January 2019;25(1)
The basic reproduction number (R0), also called the basic reproduction ratio or rate or the basic reproductive rate, is an epidemiologic metric used to describe the contagiousness or transmissibility of infectious agents. R0 is affected by numerous biological, sociobehavioral, and environmental factors that govern pathogen transmission and, therefore, is usually estimated with various types of complex mathematical models, which make R0 easily misrepresented, misinterpreted, and misapplied. R0 is not a biological constant for a pathogen, a rate over time, or a measure of disease severity, and R0 cannot be modified through vaccination campaigns. R0 is rarely measured directly, and modeled R0 values are dependent on model structures and assumptions. Some R0 values reported in the scientific literature are likely obsolete. R0 must be estimated, reported, and applied with great caution because this basic metric is far from simple.
- Coronavirus Outbreak: Biology, Epidemiology and Public Health Response (90 min)
UNC Gillings Department of Epidemiology and North Carolina Partnership for Excellence in Applied Epidemiology Seminar, Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Welcome and introductions by Andrew Olshan and Lorraine Alexander. Presenters:
Dr. Ralph Baric, Distinguished Professor
Dr. Kim Powers, Associate Professor
Dr. Aaron Fleischauer, Chief Science Officer at N.C. Division of Public Health
Dr. David Weber, Professor
(password march3sph [if requested])
- Coronavirus response so far sidelines CDC, and former CDC chief feels 'less safe': Q&A
USA Today, March 24, 2020
- COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition
The COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition is a private-sector led response that brings together healthcare organizations, technology firms, nonprofits, academia, and startups.
- Earlier posts
- Economists cheered by relief package but see long, tough slog ahead
Christina Pazzanese, Harvard Magazine, March 25, 2020
Harvard Kennedy School Professor Karen Dynan, Ph.D. ’92, served as chief economist and assistant secretary for economic policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 2014 to 2017. Kenneth S. Rogoff, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and professor of economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, is a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. Dynan and Rogoff say Fed and Congress are moving in the right direction
- FEMA - Coronavirus rumor control
- Fighting COVID-19 with Epidemiology: A Johns Hopkins Teach-Out
Johns Hopkins Coursera course by Gypsyamber D'Souza, Emily Gurley, and Justin Lessler
This free Teach-Out is for anyone who has been curious about how we identify and measure outbreaks like the COVID-19 epidemic and wants to understand the epidemiology of these infections.
- Global Covid-19 Case Fatality Rates
Jason Oke, Carl Heneghan; Oxford Covid-19 Evidence Service, March 17, 2020 with updates
It is essential to understand whether the elderly are dying with or from the disease (see the Sarah Newy report). It is also not clear if the presence of other circulating influenza illnesses acts to increase the CFR (testing for co-pathogens is not occurring), and whether certain populations (e.g., those with heart conditions) are more at risk. Understanding this issue is now critical. If, for instance, 80% of those over 80 died with the disease (20% from it) then the CFR in >80s would be near 3% as opposed to 15%.
- GOP County Chair Says Coronavirus in Kansas Isn't Serious Because There Aren't Many Chinese People There
Matthew Impelli, Newsweek, 3/20/2020
On Wednesday, Republican County Commissioner Marvin Rodriguez suggested that the new coronavirus isn't serious in Kansas because the state does not have a lot of Chinese people.
"I know that other people are having a great problem. And someone reminded me that in Italy, they have a lot of garment-people there, fashionists [sic], and they have a tremendous amount of Chinese there, and that's where a lot of it started," Rodriguez said at a special county meeting on Wednesday, according the Kansas news agency The Mercury.
- Heal the Healers Now
The Center for Health and Wellness, a division of the David Lynch Foundation, has launched a new initiative to provide meditation to U.S. medical providers battling COVID-19.
- In Pursuit of PPE
Andrew W. Artenstein, NEJM Covid-19 Notes, April 17, 2020
Our supply-chain group has worked around the clock to secure gowns, gloves, face masks, goggles, face shields, and N95 respirators. These employees have adapted to a new normal, exploring every lead, no matter how unusual. Deals, some bizarre and convoluted, and many involving large sums of money, have dissolved at the last minute when we were outbid or outmuscled, sometimes by the federal government.
- It Wasn’t Just Trump Who Got It Wrong
Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic, March 24, 2020
America’s coronavirus response failed because we didn’t understand the complexity of the problem.
- Jerry Falwell Jr defies calls for coronavirus closures and reopens Liberty University
Kenya Evelyn, The Guardian, March 24, 2020
Up to 5,000 students will be allowed to return to Liberty University’s campus after school officials confirmed the conservative Christian school based in Lynchburg, Virginia, will reopen this week. Follow-up article at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/29/us/politics/coronavirus-liberty-university-falwell.html
- Looking To The Genome To Track And Treat The New Coronavirus (18 min)
NPR, Science Friday, March 6, 2020, with host Ira Flatow
As of Thursday, March 5, Washington state has reported over 30 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. To better understand the pathogen and the disease, scientists have sequenced the genome of the virus from two of the patients. Kristian Andersen, an immunologist at Scripps Research who uses genomics to track the spread of diseases, discusses how the genetic information from these patients can help determine the spread of the virus globally. Plus, Ralph Baric, a coronavirus researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, talks about developing vaccine and drug candidates for COVID-19 and how the genomic sequences from this outbreak can be used to help create treatments.
- Medical Expert Who Corrects Trump Is Now a Target of the Far Right
Davey Alba and Sheera Frenkel, NY Times, March 28, 2020
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the administration’s most outspoken advocate of emergency virus measures, faces a torrent of false claims that he is mobilizing to undermine the president.
- New blood tests for antibodies could show true scale of coronavirus pandemic
Gretchen Vogel, Science, March 19, 2020
Widespread antibody testing could also provide key data for efforts to model the course of the pandemic. Current predictions vary so widely, causing some scientists to question the need for severe containment methods such as lockdowns and social distancing. By indicating how much of the population is already immune because of mild infections, antibody data could offer a key to how fast the virus will continue to spread.
- PBS Frontline - Coronavirus Pandemic (53 min)
Miles O’Brien, PBS Frontline, Season 2020: Episode 16
How did the U.S. become the country with the worst known coronavirus outbreak in the world? FRONTLINE investigates the American response to COVID-19 — from Washington state to Washington, D.C. — and examines what happens when politics and science collide.
FRONTLINE’s first major documentary on the coronavirus crisis, is a startling tale of two Washingtons — tracing the very different preparations and responses by the federal government and by Washington state, where the first known U.S. case of COVID-19 was identified back in January.
- Ralph Baric
UNC researcher studying coronaviruses for several decades
- Town of Chapel Hill Joins Orange County Stay At Home Order
The Declaration will be in effect beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, March 27, until 5 p.m. Thursday, April 30.
- Trump keeps touting an unproven coronavirus treatment. It’s now being tested on thousands in New York.
Christopher Rowland, Jon Swaine and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post, March 26, 2020
The push in the U.S. pandemic epicenter follows the president’s declaration that he ‘feels good’ about compounds with unproven efficacy, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine.
- TWiV 591: Coronavirus update with Ralph Baric (1 hr+)
March 15, 2020 on This Week in Virology (TWiV)
Ralph Baric joins TWiV to dissect the coronavirus pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, including discussion on community spread, asymptomatic infections, origin of the virus, transmission, vaccine development, and much more.
- What do we know about the risk of dying from COVID-19?
Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser, March 25, 2020
Our World in Data presents the data and research to make progress against the world’s largest problems.
This blog post draws on data and research discussed in our entry on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
We thank Tom Chivers for editorial review and feedback on this work.
- What we can learn from the countries winning the coronavirus fight
Excellent explanation and illustration of exponential growth, logarithmic graphs, country comparisons, ...
Tim Leslie, Colin Gourlay, Joshua Byrd, Catherine Hanrahan, Simon Elvery, Matt Liddy and Ben Spraggon, Story Lab, ABC News Australia, updated 27 Mar 2020