SARS update: Lancet data, etc.

A SARS update: As I have been saying, the outbreak is now largely a China problem, as the following graph shows (full data is here):


Most significant recent news was the (marginally flawed) Lancet study showing that mortality rates are much higher than early reports led many to think. Far from being percentages in the low single digits, they are actually more like 55 per cent in infected people over 60 years old, and 13 per cent in infected people aged under 60. The study also showed that a reasonable incubation period was more like 14 days than 10, as is currently used. Finally, study showed the remarkably long hospital stays associated with the disease, as the following figure shows:


Why is this interesting? Because it shows the societal and healthcare costs imposed by an outbreak. It would be easy to imagine how a concentrated outbreak could quickly fill all beds and impose serious economic consequences on a system ill-equipped to cope.