Timeline of Events Learned in Hubei Province in China, and Estimating Actual New Coronavirus COVID-19 Cases in Your Area


Estimating actual COVID 19 cases (novel coronavirus infections) in an area based on deaths.

The Khan Academy demonstrates the reason for the lag between Coronavirus cases testing positive and the actual Coronavirus cases caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Wuhan, where the 2019–20 pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) began, is located in Hubei Province.

The following demonstration presumes the infection doubling rate is 5 days, and that the fatality rate is 1%.

The statistics show an average 5 days from infection to first symptoms, and shows roughly 15 days from onset of symptoms to death for the approximately 1% of the population that succumbs to the disease. The demonstration shows that when there is a death reported, the person possibly became infected 20 days prior to the day of death. If the mortality rate is 1%, then the number of people infected on that day could be 100. Of course it’s possible the person was the only person infected, but in a worst case scenario in a crowded city there could have been 100 people infected 20 days prior to that one person’s death.

If 100 people were infected, and the doubling rate is 5 days, there would be …

200 people newly infected 15 days before the person’s death,

400 people newly infected 10 days before the person’s death,

800 people newly infected 5 days before the person’s death,

1600 people newly infected on the day of the person’s death.

On the day of the person’s death there would now be a total of 3100 people infected.

If the death rate is still 1%, among the 1600 people infected, there would be 16 deaths 20 days after the first person died.

Keep in mind if hospitals become overrun, and staff become sick, the death rate could rise. If hospitals and staff with proper Personal Protection Equipment and adequate medical equipment and supplies are able to maintain good infection control, then the death rate would hopefully hold at 1%.

Also by proper social distancing practices, the doubling rate could be extended beyond 5 days and slow the rate of new infections, which would help keep the hospital from becoming overrun.

For official Coronavirus information …



IDPH | IDPH Coronavirus

CCDPH | Novel Coronavirus

CHICAGO.GOV | /coronavirus

Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization created in 2008 by Salman Khan. The Khan Academy publishes YouTube videos with tutorials on a variety of academic subjects. The organization produces short lessons in the form of videos. Its website also includes supplementary practice exercises and materials for educators. All resources are available for free to users of the website and app.



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