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Controlling the Hidden Growth of COVID-19

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posted on 2020-05-27, 20:23 authored by Bruce WangBruce Wang, Chaolun Ma
The COVID-19 pandemic has plagued the world for months. The U.S. has taken measures to counter it. On a daily basis, newly confirmed cases have been reported. In the early days, these numbers showed an increasing trend. Recently, the numbers have been generally flattened out. This report tries to estimate the hidden number of currently alive infections in the population by using the confirmed cases. A major result indicates an existing infections estimate at about 10-50 times the daily confirmed new cases, with the stringent social distancing policy tipping to the upper end of this range. It clarifies the relationship between the infection rate and the test rate to put the epidemic under control, which says that the test rate shall keep up at the same pace as infection rate to prevent an outbreak. This relationship is meaningful in the wake of business re-opening in the U.S. and the world. The report also reveals the connections of all the measures taken to the epidemic spread. A stratified sampling method is proposed to add to the current tool kits of epidemic control. Again, this report is a summary of some straight observations and thoughts, not through a thorough study backed with field data. The results appear obvious and suitable for general education to interested policymakers and the public.


E.B. Snead ’25 Career Development Professor I fund through the Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Texas A&M University.


Declaration of conflicts of interest


Corresponding author email

Lead author country

  • United States

Lead author job role

  • Higher Education Faculty 4-yr College

Lead author institution

Texas A&M University

Human Participants

  • No

Ethics statement

the authors confirm that the materials used in the report follow the general ethics. The findings and ideas are original.


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