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Expect there to be several more weeks before infection becomes widespread in US...

 
DOOM WATCHER
User ID: 614296
United States
05/01/2009 01:27 PM
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Expect there to be several more weeks before infection becomes widespread in US...
The media and government officials know that they cannot keep the public in a prolonged frenzy for day after day regarding the swine flu outbreak.

There will be a lull, but it will last only until infection becomes widespread

WHO is modeling the spread of the virus and conducting their own testing as they watch the spread of the disease. Expect the next big news item within the next week or so to be that we are at a Stage 6 Pandemic outbreak. It will still take several more weeks after that before your average american starts to see those within their own circle of friends and family become ill.

This is how a virus spreads. Starting from just a handful of infections, it takes weeks before it spreads to a sizable population.

What you have to keep in mind, is that every outbreak starts with a single case, and then it starts to grow. Given the lack of immunity that the population has, this virus can go from 1 infection to millions in a matter of months. As OP stated, we may only have 8000 infected and 150 dead, but how many will have died when we have 100 million infected? Answer: 2 MILLION and a health infrastructure pushed to the bink.

Look at it this way, lets say that 45 days ago there was only 1 infected person. Lets assume that the virus will spread using a factor of 1.5 - each single infection will infect 1.5 other people (some will infect 2 others, some will infect 0, but on average each person will spread the disease to 1.5 people. Lets also assume that this growth will cycle every 2 days. In our scenario, there would be ~22 cycles of growth over the course of 2 months.

The cycles will iterate as listed below. Note: Numbers of infected displayed have been rounded.

1.5
2.25
3.375
5
7.5
11
17
25
38
57
86
129
194
291
437
656
985
1,477
2,226
3,325
4,987
7,481 This represents the number of infected after 22 iterations.

So according to this example, after 22 cycles representing 45 days our single infection has grown to over 7000 infected. That is not that much though, during a year MILLIONS of people become infected with seasonal influenza and as you said, 30k people die in the US.

If we uses a hypothetical fatality rate of 2% for this Swine flu, then that 7481 infected would represent about 150 dead after 45 days. As you said, not much - what is the big deal!

Well what happens if we extrapolate that infection rate and death rate out several more months. Remember, it has the potential to infect up to 50% of the population before the immunity that would be gained from infection would stop the spread. Lets find out by looking at the number of infected projecting out another 20 iterations of infection represented by 40 days.

11,222
16,834
25,000
38,000
56,000
85,000
127,000
191,000
287,000
431,000
647,000
970,000
1,500,000
2,250,000
3,375,000
5,000,000
7,500,000
11,000,000
17,000,000
25,000,000 This represents the number of infected after 42 iterations.

Apply our hypothetical 2% fatality rate or any number you want to the total infected at this point and get an idea just how many could be dead.

Food for thought. I hope this helps you understand that we are very early in all of this - aprox at iteration number 22. We won't start to see millions infected for another 13-14 iterations. At 2 days per infection cycle, that gives us another 30 days before infection starts to spread like wildfire in the US. Give it another 30 days and it will be extreme.

What will happen once infection does start to spread? We don't know. We don't know just how deadly it is. At a minimum we know that a lot of people will be sick. If that will stretch our health capabilities to the max - we can't say for sure.

I am more concerned that will that many people sick and not at work, that the impact to the economy will accelerate the collapse.
WomanInBlack

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05/01/2009 01:28 PM
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Re: Expect there to be several more weeks before infection becomes widespread in US...
The media told me this flu is nothing now.
We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.

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Wraithwynd

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05/01/2009 01:45 PM
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Re: Expect there to be several more weeks before infection becomes widespread in US...
Based on confirmed cases *only* the infection rate (or growth rate of infected) is now at 1.82. The potential is there that this is spreading far more rapidly - say 2 to 2.3. That may be an underestimate. Hard to say since reports of 'suspected cases' keeps on changing.

Add to that the new 'cross human' cases confirmed in several nations and how far spread this is this early on, your generations of spread may have to be lowered as well.

Confirmed cases growth has been growing sporadically.

Confirmed cases went from 1.3 to 1.5 to a sudden leap of 2.1 - just the last three days.

Suspected cases (based on hearsay) put those numbers nearly double in each counting - 2.1 2.4 and 4.3.

Currently 484 confirmed cases.

Tomorrow expect around 880, the day after than around 1601.

Its spread further than we are being told, and may be infecting many more people than I can pull out of the numbers reported.
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Anonymous Coward
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05/01/2009 01:47 PM
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Re: Expect there to be several more weeks before infection becomes widespread in US...
The hard part will be tracking the numbers. they have went on lockdown on testing and will not even test anyone that is only mild in an infected area.
Fescado

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05/01/2009 02:10 PM
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Re: Expect there to be several more weeks before infection becomes widespread in US...
bump

and

pin

People need to understand how the numbers work...

I've been having trouble explaining it to folks... thanks for posting.

dynamite

damned
*yar har fiddley dee
plunder the market 'cause a pirate is free*
Anonymous Coward
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05/01/2009 02:14 PM
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Re: Expect there to be several more weeks before infection becomes widespread in US...
Also people are to concerned with the "Deaths" even with out deaths (which there will be) and only mild symptoms these numbers are devastating. We already have events, schools, and other things being canceled left and right. Imagine when businesses have to close because large numbers of the workforce are out sick. Think about how food will not get transported when dockhands, and truckers start getting this virus. Everyone has been lulled into a sense of clear when this thing has not even yet begun.
FyreStorm

User ID: 588922
United States
05/01/2009 02:14 PM
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Re: Expect there to be several more weeks before infection becomes widespread in US...
bump

and

pin

People need to understand how the numbers work...

I've been having trouble explaining it to folks... thanks for posting.

dynamite

damned
 Quoting: Fescado

+1
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