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Devolution of a Pandemic
Astounding Rapid Progression in the Philippines!
For reference, this is what the Philippines looks like on Worldometer as of today 11 January 2022. Similar to many other countries we have very had low cases for quite a while, followed just recently by a sudden massive surge in cases, though with no accompanying surge in deaths.
I looked at this surge, taking the daily Philippines Department of Health (DOH) reports, and summarizing and plotting the data for the past 3 weeks, as shown below.
In the past 2 weeks, since 28th December we have:-
Gone from less than 5% positivity to 46% positivity on 10th and 44.5% today, (daily tests done range from about 18,000 to 77,000)
Gone from less than 45% to more than 97.4% mild and asymptomatic cases (rapidly deescalating seriousness of cases) in steady upward trajectory,
Gone exponentially up from less than 500 cases a day to more than 33,000 and climbing, and surely grossly underestimated because literally everyone I know currently has covid!
Number of positive cases of course mirrors the number of tests. Positivity slightly dropped today. The beginning of the implosion that must surely follow?
I haven’t evaluated these patterns by region, though a quick look at yesterday’s Covid-19 Situationer#623 shows cases spread across all regions. We do not have free travel around Philippines yet, thought there has been some limited resumption of movement.
This is certainly not the same bug it was last year! How does this pattern arise from an infectious disease / public health perspective? Have we ever known a bug to travel this fast, this widely, all at once when travel is limited, and social distancing and all sorts of isolation practices are still (at least somewhat) in place? From personal observation (and comments by local Dr contacts) current duration of illness, in symptomatic persons varies from 2 to 3 days to about a week. Exposure to symptoms presenting, likely a few days, at most.
[Could we somehow have all been sprayed with this bug at exactly the same time? I am not quite joking!]