Curb the spread of coronavirus: first measures work!

COVID-19: Contact reduction slows the spread of the disease

In the past few weeks there has been nowhere as many infections with the new corona virus as in Europe. Numerous measures have been taken in various countries to reduce the spread of the pathogen. And these work - at least in Austria.

The corona virus crisis has a firm grip on Europe. In order to reduce the number of infections and diseases, curfews have been decided in some areas and countries. In addition, recommendations for social distancing were made everywhere. Researchers from Austria are now reporting that this contact reduction slows the spread of the disease.

Adhered to recommendations

According to a message from the Vienna University of Technology, what the model calculations by the Vienna University of Technology and the Vienna Spin-Off dwh predicted a week ago is now beginning: Contact reduction slows the spread of the disease.

"Fortunately, most people in Austria followed the recommendations and reduced the number of interpersonal contacts," explains Niki Popper (Vienna University of Technology / dwh).

“This is exactly what we calculated a week ago in this case: The number of COVID-19 cases is still increasing, but the daily percentage increase has decreased. We are on a good way."

Doubling time slows down

When the disease COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 began to spread in Austria, the number of confirmed cases doubled every 2 or 2.5 days.

In the last few days the daily growth has been lower, now a doubling time in the range of four to six days can be assumed. According to the announcement, this was exactly what the calculation models had shown a week ago.

Now calculations are still being carried out to evaluate the individual measures implemented so far - and also to estimate how and when it will be possible to withdraw the measures.

For this purpose, the team at the Vienna University of Technology has teamed up with colleagues from the Medical University and Gesundheit Österreich GmbH.

“How fast that will depend on the success in the near future. It is important to test as many people as possible for the virus - what counts in the end is the number measured, not the prognosis, ”says Popper.

What is the number of unreported cases?

As always, when simulating such complicated processes on the computer, there are still some important unanswered questions. One of them is: How many people are infected with SARS-CoV-2 without knowing it? What is the number of unreported cases?

"Of course there is an undisclosed number. Some research teams have already tried to estimate this undisclosed figure - that's good, but of course very difficult, ”says Niki Popper.

According to the information, the first promising considerations are currently being made by the IHS (Institute for Advanced Studies and Scientific Research), with which the Vienna University of Technology also cooperates.

If significantly more people were infected without symptoms, this might not be bad news. The number of severe cases requiring hospital care is known.

A high number of unreported cases would mean that the proportion of serious cases is lower than previously assumed. In addition, if the number of unreported cases is high, one would be closer to the goal of herd immunity: it might not be that long before enough people were immune to the virus. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Video: Coronavirus: Can wearing masks stop the spread of viruses? - BBC News (November 2021).