This past week, COVID-19 cases in the U.S. spiked from 13,678 to more than 100,000, making it the country with the most cases. It is estimated that a person carying the virus could infect anywhere from 2.2 to 3 people. We consulted with a physician and a math expert to calculate a worse-case scenario of how the virus could spread in just 10 cycles of infection.Population density and safety practices like social distancing are among factors that can influence these numbers.
How the math was done: COVID-19 calculations were based on an R-naught of 3. The R-naught is the estimate of how many people one person could infect with the virus. We calculated 3 to the 10th power and added the sum of previous cycles to derive the number of potential infected people. These numbers are calculations based on a worse-case scenario.
Sources: Business Insider; Time; Johns Hopkins University; Gary Whittaker, Cornell University; World Health Organization