UPDATE: Please also see our more recent episode Dr Cassidy Nelson on the twelve best ways to stop the next pandemic (and limit nCoV). It has a more recent update on nCoV and evidence backed ways to prevent pandemics from arising or spreading.
Two 80,000 Hours researchers, Robert Wiblin and Howie Lempel, just recorded a discussion about the 2019-nCoV virus.
You can get it by subscribing to the 80,000 Hours Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Learn more about the show.
In the 1h15m conversation we cover:
- What is it?
- How many people have it?
- How contagious is it?
- What fraction of people who contract it die?
- How likely is it to spread out of control?
- What’s the range of plausible fatalities worldwide?
- How does it compare to other epidemics?
- What don’t we know and why?
- What actions should listeners take, if any?
- How should the complexities of the above be communicated by public health professionals?
Below are some links we discuss in the episode, or otherwise think are informative:
Advice on how to avoid catching contagious diseases
- The Wuhan Virus: How to Stay Safe by Laurie Garrett
- Metaculus aggregated predictions regarding nCoV
General summaries of what’s going on
- 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak on Wikipedia
- Rob’s summary of the evidence from 1st February (now out of date)
- CoronaVirus – FAQ, misconceptions, information, from a statistical perspective by Anon
- Clarity, Please, on the Coronavirus Statistics by Maimuna Majumder
- What Is the Coronavirus? Symptoms, Treatment and Risks by Roni Caryn Rabin
Our previous episodes about pandemic control
- Howie Lempel on pandemics that kill hundreds of millions and how to stop them
- Dr Beth Cameron works to stop you dying in a pandemic. Here’s what keeps her up at night.
- Tom Inglesby on how to prevent global catastrophic biological risks
Thoughts on how to communicate risk to the public
- Adjustment Reactions: The Teachable Moment in Crisis Communication by Peter M. Sandman
- “No Reason for Alarm” Is a Foolishly Over-Reassuring Message about the Novel Coronavirus Spreading from Wuhan by Peter Sandman
- Our experts are closely following and analyzing updates on this 2019-nCoV outbreak by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
- WHO nCoV situation reports
- Update January 31: Modeling the Spreading Risk of 2019-nCoV by Lauren Gardner
- Nowcasting and forecasting the potential domestic and international spread of the 2019-nCoV outbreak originating in Wuhan, China: a modelling study by Wu et al.
- Mining coronavirus genomes for clues to the outbreak’s origins by Jon Cohen
- Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study by Chen et al.
- Jan 24th: A novel coronavirus outbreak of global health concern by Wang et al.
- 2019-20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak: Intense surveillance is vital for preventing sustained transmission in new locations
General advice on disaster preparedness
- Prepare a household disaster kit
- Tweet by Helen Branswell
- Unconfirmed tweet on diagnostic bottlenecks
- Graph of growth in case figures from Jan 31st.
- Growth of nCoV cases outside of China