Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Help Me With This Math, Will 'Ya?

It's early morning, and I'm off coffee today (which means that I'm one step from zombieland).

I was reading this article from Science Alert about the coronavirus. As it's morning, and - 'ya know, caffeineless - I decided to do some low level number crunching.

You may have heard that the risk is "only" about 3%. Well, that's true. And, when you take the number affected - 2700 - and divide that by the number that died - 81 - you end up with 33.3 (repeating).

That means that of every 33 people that have been diagnosed with the virus, ONE has DIED.

No, it's not as terrifying as Ebola. But, for a seemingly no-big-deal respiratory virus to cause DEATH in 3% of those catching it, is a BFD, to quote a former VP (and likely loser in 2020 Presidential race).

We all know how diseases spread through schools. In a big viral outbreak, it's not uncommon for perhaps 1/3 of the class to be affected. In a school of perhaps 500 students, that would be 167 of them (rounded). When you multiple 167 * 0.03 (the percentage affected), that means in every similar sized school, FIVE kids will die.

If even half of them pass the virus on to their family (say, for an average of 2 more people for every child infected), that means TEN students will lose a family member.

Check my math - I'd be thrilled to be wrong.

But, I'm afraid I am not.


Newscaper312 said...

The math is good in general.
Your school example not so much, as so far deaths are mostly elderly and NOT uniformly distributed across ages.

Don RN said...

You did the math backwards:
81 / 2700 = 3% or 1 out of 33

Linda Fox said...

I've been looking at some of the deaths, and quite a few are under 60. Don't know just how that will translate in America, as so many of our kids have asthma and diabetes, which might put them more at risk.

The medical/nursing staff is younger.

IF this virus initiated in the bird/pig combo that leads to most flu-like viruses (bird as carriers, but, when housed close to swine, pass it on, and the mutation jumps to humans from the pigs), then the elderly might be the first hit, as they are the ones that feed them.