Tuesday, April 22, 2003

SARS data: cumulative vs. new cases

Here's a graph I've created which simply logs the number of cases newly reported by the WHO each day. To keep it consistent, where there is a gap between days, I've averaged out the data.

Presenting a graph like this is not without problems. This is not an accurate reflection of the number of actual new cases to arise each day. The WHO graph on cases by date of onset is better (see my note on Monday 21 April 2003 about this). However, that graph does not reflect all the cases, especially the revised Chinese figures. What is interesting about the graph above is that it reflects the data that the media have been reporting on. And, one or two spikes aside as chunks of cases have been added at one time, the figures are remarkably static, hovering around 100 cases per day throughout most of April. Hardly a deepening crisis.

Here is the Excel file with all the data, which I will endeavour to keep updated.


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