#VisualAbstract: The Incubation Period of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) From Publicly Reported Confirmed Cases

1. Investigators analyzed 181 cases of COVID-19 outside of Wuhan and estimated that the median incubation period is 5.1 days (95% CI 4.5 to 5.8 days), with 97.5% of infected individuals showing symptoms within 11.5 days (95% CI 8.2 to 15.6days).

2. Investigators estimate that 101 out of 10,000 cases (99thpercentile, 482) will develop symptoms after a 14 day period, supporting the use of a 14 day active monitoring or quarantine.  

Study rundown: The novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, represents one of the largest epidemic outbreaks in recent memory. In this study, investigators performed a pool analysis of COVID-19 cases reported between 4 January 2020 and 24 February 2020, using news reports and press releases from 50 provinces, regions, and countries outside Wuhan, Hubei province, China. They studied patient demographic characteristics and dates and times of possible exposure, symptom onset, fever onset, and hospitalization. Investigators found 181 confirmed cases with identifiable exposure and symptom onset windows that helped provide estimates for the incubation period of COVID-19. The median incubation period was estimated to be 5.1 days (95% CI 4.5 to 5.8 days), with 2.5% people estimated to show symptoms within 2.2 days (95% CI 1.8 to 2.9 days) and 97.5% estimated to show symptoms within 11.5 days (95% CI 8.2 to 15.6 days). Using these numbers, the investigators estimate that if 14 days of active monitoring or quarantine are put into place, 101 out of every 10,000 cases (99th percentile, 482) will develop symptoms after the 14 days. This study was limited in that publicly reported cases may be over-representative of severe cases, and the incubation period may differ for milder cases.

Click to read the study in Annals of Internal Medicine

Image: PD

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