We are failing, not just because health case systems are being over run, but the tragedy is that we have stopped testing and so do not know who has got the virus and who has not.
This study based on modelling suggests that about 86% of the people infected are not being detected because their symptoms are very mild and so they go unnoticed. At present we are essentially capturing the people who end up in hospital . This says the actual death rate is lower that the figures suggest, which are skewed to hospital admissions.
But it also says that there are many people who do not know they are infected, and therefore are not isolating, and are therefore infecting people.
This mechanism for this situation is being changed slowly. I know that we are sending our equipment to testing centres to increase capacity. But in the interim the best way to stop getting the disease and the best way to not spread, it is to isolate. Those at particular risk will of course remain at risk when the risk is encountered, unless a vaccine is developed which is unlikely to happen quickly or we discover drugs that affect the virus. There seems to be some progress but that is matched with failure too. Therefore to protect yourself, think as every one as being a potential viral spreader unless you know they are not and ensure social distancing.
Substantial undocumented infection facilitates the rapid dissemination of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2).Li R, Pei S, Chen B, Song Y, Zhang T, Yang W, Shaman J.Science. 2020 Mar 16. pii: eabb3221 Estimation of the prevalence and contagiousness of undocumented novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) infections is critical for understanding the overall prevalence and pandemic potential of this disease. Here we use observations of reported infection within China, in conjunction with mobility data, a networked dynamic metapopulation model and Bayesian inference, to infer critical epidemiological characteristics associated with SARS-CoV2, including the fraction of undocumented infections and their contagiousness. We estimate 86% of all infections were undocumented (95% CI: [82%-90%]) prior to 23 January 2020 travel restrictions. Per person, the transmission rate of undocumented infections was 55% of documented infections ([46%-62%]), yet, due to their greater numbers, undocumented infections were the infection source for 79% of documented cases. These findings explain the rapid geographic spread of SARS-CoV2 and indicate containment of this virus will be particularly challenging.
This suggest to contain COVID we need a radical change in policy
COVID-19 epidemic in Switzerland: on the importance of testing, contact tracing and isolation.Salathé M, Althaus CL, Neher R, Stringhini S, Hodcroft E, Fellay J, Zwahlen M, Senti G, Battegay M, Wilder-Smith A, Eckerle I, Egger M, Low N. Swiss Med Wkly. 2020 Mar 19;150:w20225. Switzerland is among the countries with the highest number of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) cases per capita in the world. There are likely many people with undetected SARS-CoV-2 infection because testing efforts are currently not detecting all infected people, including some with clinical disease compatible with COVID-19. Testing on its own will not stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Testing is part of a strategy. The World Health Organization recommends a combination of measures: rapid diagnosis and immediate isolation of cases, rigorous tracking and precautionary self-isolation of close contacts.