Keeping up with the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)


5th February 2020


UPDATE 12/02/20: The World Health Organisation have officially named the disease caused by the virus COVID 19 (COronaVIrus Disease 2019). The virus itself has been named SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2) by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses.

The epidemiological picture of the new novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is changing quickly. Johns Hopkins University have developed a dashboard, which is updated daily, to track the progress of the outbreak.

The dashboard pulls in reported cases from various sources, including World Health Organisation, CDC (US), ECDC, China CDC and NHC.

The dashboard has several panels to examining different aspects of the epidemiology of the outbreak: an epi curve, a “blob chart” (showing the number of cases in each region visually), and a list of confirmed cases by country. The good news from the epi curve is that the number of confirmed cases appears to be slowing, suggesting that we might be reaching the peak of the outbreak.

The site also has a page on some modelling work that the group are doing around the outbreak. The model predicts in the region of 60,000 cases in mainland China by the end of January (whereas the actual number reported was <20,000).

The difference is likely due to asymptomatic or patients with low-grade symptoms that were not reported. The model also makes predictions about the number of cases likely to be reported outside of mainland China, which looks to be pretty accurate. We’ll keep you updated as the outbreak progresses!

Image taken from Johns Hopkins website dashboard: Coronavirus 2019-nCoV Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE

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