Health Epidemiologist Catherine Hill estimates at least 64,000 coronavirus deaths

Epidemiologist Catherine Hill estimates at least 64,000 coronavirus deaths


9:00 a.m.
    , on March 29, 2020, modified at
                    9:26 a.m.
    , March 29, 2020

Epidemiologist Catherine Hill spends her days of confinement tracking down the ravages of the coronavirus. In a study that we publish on, the statistician, who had helped Irène Frachon to uncover the damage caused by the Mediator by estimating the number of dead for the first time, scrutinizes the evolution of key data of the health crisis. “To understand it, you have to be attentive to its development,” she notes. “An epidemic is a dynamic process.”

First lesson of this work: assuming that an infected person contaminates on average 2.5 others, it would be necessary that 60% of the population be affected so that the epidemic ceases naturally, if no containment measure does had been taken. “This proportion corresponds to what is called collective immunity, explains Catherine Hill. It would be reached when 40 million French people are infected.”

Read also – Coronavirus: the government adapts its strategy in the face of the epidemic

The study:

Covid-19: epidemiological data, by Catherine Hill by leJDD on Scribd

Regarding the mortality rate, which varies widely (from 10.6% in Italy to 0.4% in Israel), the scientist notes that, in some countries, only serious cases are recorded. “The mortality rate observed therefore depends on the number of tests reported to the population, she points out. In addition, the number of deaths can also be underestimated, especially when they are not all attributed to the coronavirus or if not as in France, only hospital deaths are counted. “

Contamination will not stop overnight with containment

How many deaths can we expect at the end of the epidemic tsunami? “If the contamination stopped completely on March 27, the date on which we can estimate at 3 million the number of people affected, that of the expected deaths would be 64,000. But the contamination will not stop overnight with the confinement. Indeed, the 3 million people already reached meet other people whom they risk contaminating. “

Like other experts, Catherine Hill advocates for targeted screening of people at risk living in communities or who continue to frequent many people because of their work. “Priority should be given to residents of nursing homes, prisons, psychiatric hospitals, gendarmes living in barracks, nursing staff, but also firefighters, home helpers, delivery men, etc.”


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