Have more time than China


After the outbreak of the corona virus, employees disinfect an office in Shanghai.
Image: Reuters

How will the coronavirus epidemic develop? In an interview, Gérard Krause from the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research outlines three scenarios – and explains why the danger of the virus is so difficult to assess.

Mr. Krause, there are new reports every day about the rapidly increasing numbers of dead and infected by Corona. What can be predicted about the further course of the epidemic?

Lucia Schmidt

Editor in the “Life” section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

I believe that the pattern of the current data is very much shaped by the fact that there are such drastic quarantine measures and travel restrictions in China. This makes it difficult to predict. We just don’t know: Is the spread outside Wuhan limited due to these measures, or would the virus not spread so quickly regardless of this? In addition, there is very good data in countries outside of China about who is ill and when, who the contact persons were, how serious the disease is. We don’t have that for the cases in China. Which is no wonder given the high number of cases. But that is exactly the data that you need for a solid risk assessment.

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