Hairyducked Idiot wrote:It's a mixed bag. An R0 of 5.7 would make it really tough to control with measures short of full lockdowns. On its own, that's bad news.
But it calls into question official case counts and hints a little bit at the everpresent "iceberg" theory: that even the amount of cases we suspect is only the tip of the iceberg and it's actually much further widespread. That would be good news, because it would mean it's way less deadly than we think and pushing it all the way to herd immunity might be plausible and even desirable.
If you take the first US confirmed case entering the country from Wuhan on Jan 15, and an R0 of 5.7 with a serial interval of 7 days, we'd expect to have more than 25 million cases by March 23. If we only have an official count of 450k and officials are admitting an undercount of 5-10x, then that's still 20 million expected cases that didn't show up which have to be explained by either the virus being less transmissible or some factor about the US is making it spread slower, both of which would be good.
any word on how the widespread antibody testing is going in germany?
that would seem to be the earliest we could make a strong argument for/against these ideas
They just released some preliminary data.
They're doing a study of the district of Heinsberg, which has ~254,000 people and 1281 confirmed infections as of the study beginning on March 31, or roughly 0.5%.
They released data from one specific municipality called Gangelt, which has about 5% of the population of Heinsberg and was the site of a known superspread event early in the process. They found that 14% of the samples there tested positive for antibodies and 2% of the people they sampled separately tested positive via swab test for an active infection. If you infer from the known false negative rate of the blood test, that would mean 20% of the population has been infected. That would be 40x the official number for the district overall, although it's possible that town is not representative of the whole district.
Either way, that's not enough to infer total herd immunity, but it's enough to take a pretty good chunk out of transmission rates and change the way you approach.
They also talk about how they believe that viral load is important to prognosis, and thus it's important to particularly avoid prolonged social gatherings where you have the chance for superspreader events and exposure to high viral loads. They argue that post-lockdown strategies should focus on hygiene and restricting those events to minimize viral load of new infections.