When will this COVID wave be over? Four numbers to keep an eye on and why

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In front of australia Recent changes in COVID testingIn principle, it was easy to resolve when the peak of the case was reached.

We examined the number of new daily cases diagnosed by PCR. From there, we examined a variety of other key indicators related to COVID epidemics, testing, and hospitalization. Each depends on the number of their daily cases.

However, in recent cases, Man Test positive, especially using rapid antigen test Report results To state Health authorities It is now possible and mandatory.

Therefore, it will take several days before some key numbers can be measured with any accuracy. Only then can we be confident when we reach the peak and come down to the other side.

1. New daily number of cases

Most people would now have seen the epidemic curve.It’s a plot number The number of new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed daily. This is the current epidemic curve of New South Wales.

For dates, states and territories use different cutoff times to define a 24-hour period. The dates of some cases are subject to change as authorities conduct investigations. So, do we plot the number of cases published daily, or the corrected “true” number of cases?

It sounds complicated, but even more complicated is trying to define a case.

Before rapid antigen test Open to the public The case was diagnosed from for use at home Positive PCR test..

next, Huge queue Our testing system has changed, whether it’s a PCR testing hub or many people who have symptoms or who give up and don’t get tested.

Domestic Cabinet agreed Remove the requirement for PCR testing to confirm positive Rapid antigen test result.

Most states and territories are moving towards reporting both positive PCR tests and positive rapid antigen tests, so data upheaval needs to be removed. Potentially, someone could take both tests and be included twice!

Case number uncertainty also affects other important parameters used to monitor the current wave.

2. Ref

The effective reproduction number (Reff) is a measure of how many others are infected on average in each case. Keep below 1 to prevent outbreaks. In the simplest case, Reff is today’s case number divided by the case number four days ago.

Currently, there are so many issues with defining and counting case numbers that it will take a few days before we can consistently reinterpret Reff for each state and territory.

3. Percentage of positive tests

This is the percentage of positive tests out of all COVID-19 tests performed. This is an important indicator as it shows the amount of undiagnosed cases in the community.

When will this wave of COVID end?Four notable numbers and why

NSW epidemic curve. Be aware of the recent irregular number of cases.Author courtesy of Adrian Estherman

The World Health Organization If it is less than 5%, it indicates that things are in control.

When diagnosed by PCR alone, good data were obtained for both the number of tests and the number of positives.

Currently, states and territories are moving to reporting rapid antigen test results, but that is not that simple.

Some jurisdictions like Queensland Just ask them to report a positive result. This means that you don’t know how many tests have been done. SA Health to People Report Negative testing is also a much better system.

4. Number of hospitalizations

As Australia opened up, I was told to pay more attention to hospitalization with COVID-19, not just the number of cases. But it’s still complicated.

Obviously, if someone tests positive for COVID-19 and then is admitted to the hospital, that person is the admitted case. But what if they are recognized as possible cases?

Also, does the number of hospitalizations need to include people who are managed in a home hospital style? After all, they are still using hospital resources.

Finally, what if they were hospitalized for something else, but subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19 at the hospital?

Even more difficult is trying to calculate ratio COVID-19 hospitalized. This is the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 divided by the number of people diagnosed. But you have to decide how long you are talking, a completely different argument.

Measuring the number and proportion of people in the intensive care unit has similar problems.

How do these changes affect modeling?

NSW Health soon Released modeling To look ahead.

There are currently restrictions in New South Wales, with modeling peaking at 4,700 hospitalizations and 273 intensive care units from mid-January to late January.

It is unclear if test rule changes are taken into account in the modeling. However, it can be seen that large changes in the detection rate do not significantly affect the prediction of when the peak will be reached.

Therefore, even with changes to the COVID test, the modeling can still be fairly accurate. This is good news for other states and territories that rely on modeling results for planning.

Where are you from here?

A good start is to require reporting of both positive and negative rapid antigen test results. Then you can recalculate the percentage of positive tests.

Great Britain has a good system.After having a rapid antigen test there, you Scan the QR code Put it in a pack and report the test results as positive, negative, or void to the central government database.

Importantly, have one national agency responsible for defining, collecting and reporting COVID-19 statistics.It may be Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.. It would be even better to have our own disease control center, which people like me have long sought.

Virus cases and hospitalizations are on the rise in Australia

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