Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

The Covid-19 Infection in Italy: A Statistical Study of an Abnormally Severe Disease

Version 1 : Received: 4 April 2020 / Approved: 6 April 2020 / Online: 6 April 2020 (11:28:31 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

De Natale, G.; Ricciardi, V.; De Luca, G.; De Natale, D.; Di Meglio, G.; Ferragamo, A.; Marchitelli, V.; Piccolo, A.; Scala, A.; Somma, R.; Spina, E.; Troise, C. The COVID-19 Infection in Italy: A Statistical Study of an Abnormally Severe Disease. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 1564. De Natale, G.; Ricciardi, V.; De Luca, G.; De Natale, D.; Di Meglio, G.; Ferragamo, A.; Marchitelli, V.; Piccolo, A.; Scala, A.; Somma, R.; Spina, E.; Troise, C. The COVID-19 Infection in Italy: A Statistical Study of an Abnormally Severe Disease. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 1564.

Journal reference: J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 1564
DOI: 10.3390/jcm9051564

Abstract

We statistically investigate the Coronavirus Disease 19 (hereinafter Covid-19) epidemics, which is particularly invasive in Italy. We show that the high apparent mortality (or Case Fatality Ratio, CFR) observed in Italy, as compared with other countries, is likely biased by a strong underestimation of infected cases. To give a more realistic estimate of the mortality of Covid-19, we use the most recent estimates of the IFR (Infection Fatality Ratio) of epidemic, based on the minimum observed CFR, and furthermore analyse data obtained from the ship Diamond Princess, a good representation of a ‘laboratory’ case-study from an isolated system in which all the people have been tested. From such analyses we derive more realistic estimates of the real extension of the infection, as well as more accurate indicators of how fast the infection propagates. We then point out from the various explanations proposed, the dominant factors causing such an abnormal seriousness of the disease in Italy. Finally, we use the deceased data, the only ones estimated to be reliable enough, to predict the total number of infected people and the interval of time when the infection in Italy could stop.

Subject Areas

Covid-19; epidemic in Italy; statistical forecast

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