NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New variant strains of COVID-19 are showing to be extremely contagious. A Yale doctor spells out in numbers just how dangerously contagious these new variants are. He stresses that this is something that people really need to grasp.
“It’s why epidemiologists and health officials are so nervous about more transmissible strains and the reason is that when you hear 50 percent more transmissible, you think that 50 percent more people will become infected,” Dr. F. Perry Wilson, Yale Medicine and Researcher at Yale School of Medicine.
But Dr. Wilson says that is not true. He says with this variant, one person infects 50 percent more people, then those people infect 50 percent more people — it spreads exponentially.
He gives an example with our current coronavirus strain with ten cycles of spreading with mask and distancing.
“That infection will only grow from 1,000 to about 2,500 after ten cycles, which is maybe two to three months of spread,” he explains.
Now he describes virus spread from 1,000 people with the 50 percent more contagious strain.
“After ten cycles, you’re up to 55,000 cases, so instead of 2,500 new cases, 55,000 new cases, even at the same mortality rate, you’re talking twenty-fold higher number of deaths. So that’s why this is so scary and something we all need to focus on to beat quickly.”