In DepthCoronavirus

With COVID-19, modeling takes on life and death importance

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Science  27 Mar 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6485, pp. 1414-1415
DOI: 10.1126/science.367.6485.1414-b


Infectious disease scientists have modeled the spread of many pathogens, but never has so much depended on their work. Computer simulations are being used to advise governments on what actions will help control the spread of the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, coronavirus disease 2019. Entire cities and countries have been locked down based on hastily done forecasts that often haven't been peer reviewed. Model outcomes vary widely depending on the characteristics of a pathogen and the affected population, and if they're wrong, there could be tragic results, including shortages of intensive care beds.

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