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


General summaries of what’s going on

Our previous episodes about pandemic control

Thoughts on how to communicate risk to the public

Official updates

Published papers

General advice on disaster preparedness

Tweets mentioned