Coronavirus Spreads through U.S. Initial Study Used by Government Provides Bleak Projections

Governments throughout the world have been struggling to predict the extent of the outbreak and come up with plans to contain Covid 19.  Many governments, including the U.S., have relied upon a study published recently from the Imperial College Covid-19 response team, who has undertaken some initial modeling. The article provides some troubling analysis on the spread of the virus including the following:

  • Data analysis from China reflects that 40% to 50% of the infections were not identified as cases, thus increasing the changes of the disease being spread by those who are unaware of their contagion
  • That elderly carry the highest risk of death with seniors in their 70s having a 5.1% mortality risk and seniors above 80 having a 9.3% risk.
  • Without any controlled measures (improbable at this point) a peak in mortality would occur in about 3 months with 81% of the U.S. population being affected, with a total death rate of over 2 million Americans
  • Population wide social distancing as applied to the population as a while would have the largest impact and in combination with other interventions (home isolation, school and business closures) has the greatest potential to reduce transmission rates
  • To avoid rebound transmissions, policies must be maintained until widespread vaccines are available, which could be 18 months or more

This early study is one of the most comprehensive studies to date and notes the various uncertainties regarding the data and spread of this virus.   But even given potential limitations on the accuracy of data, the projections are preliminary, but disturbing.  It is also possible that the rate of transmission is much higher in the U.S., but the lack of testing means that the government really has no accurate measure of the current infection rate.  Given the preliminary projections, even with containment practices in place, the death rate for Americans will likely be between 1 and 2 million individuals. Since the elderly are the most at risk, nursing facilities must take aggressive action to protect their elders now, following strict containment and testing practices.

Those who suspect they may be infected should get tested, which is no easy task. Many Virginia residents are having trouble accessing tests.   People who want tests should contact their state department of health.  Arlington County recently opened up a test site for those who had a doctor’s order.

On March 5th, Medicare put out a notice to remind Medicare recipients that Medicare B covers a test to see if you have Coronavirus.  Here’s a link.  https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/coronavirus-test?utm_campaign=20200305_gmd_prv_gal&utm_content=english&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

For our region…here are several links that provide up to date information on COVID-19 cases.

Virginia – http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronavirus/

Maryland – https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Pages/Novel-coronavirus.aspx

DC – https://coronavirus.dc.gov/

If you have a loved one in who has suffered an injury due to negligent care in a long-term care facility , contact the Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey, P.C. for a free consultation.  We practice in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.  The Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey, P.C. is located near Tysons Corner at 8270 Greensboro Drive, Suite 810, McLean, VA  22102

Phone: 703-564-7318
Email: jdowney@jeffdowney.com


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