The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is a harsh reminder of the fact that, whether in a single human host or a wave of infection across continents, viral dynamics is often a story about the numbers. In this snapshot, our aim is to provide a one-stop, curated graphical source for the key numbers that help us understand the virus driving our current global crisis. The discussion is framed around two broad themes: 1) the biology of the virus itself and 2) the characteristics of the infection of a single human host. Our one-page summary provides the key numbers pertaining to SARS-CoV-2, based mostly on peer-reviewed literature. The numbers reported in summary format are substantiated by the annotated references below. Readers are urged to remember that much uncertainty remains and knowledge of this pandemic and the virus driving it is rapidly evolving. In the paragraphs below we provide 'back of the envelope' calculations that exemplify the insights that can be gained from knowing some key numbers and using quantitative logic. These calculations serve to improve our intuition through sanity checks, but do not replace detailed epidemiological analysis.
This article is a compilation of previously published data; no new data were generated in this study.
- Rob Phillips
- Ron Milo
- Yinon M Bar-On
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Michael B Eisen, HHMI, University of California, Berkeley, United States
© 2020, Bar-On et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) has impacted the health and day-to-day life of individuals, especially the elderly and people with certain pre-existing medical conditions, including cancer. The purpose of this study was to investigate how COVID-19 impacted access to cancer screenings and treatment, by studying the participants in the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC) study.
The MEC has been following over 215,000 residents of Hawai‘i and Los Angeles for the development of cancer and other chronic diseases since 1993–1996. It includes men and women of five racial and ethnic groups: African American, Japanese American, Latino, Native Hawaiian, and White. In 2020, surviving participants were sent an invitation to complete an online survey on the impact of COVID-19 on their daily life activities, including adherence to cancer screening and treatment. Approximately 7,000 MEC participants responded. A cross-sectional analysis was performed to investigate the relationships between the postponement of regular health care visits and cancer screening procedures or treatment with race and ethnicity, age, education, and comorbidity.
Women with more education, women with lung disease, COPD, or asthma, and women and men diagnosed with cancer in the past 5 years were more likely to postpone any cancer screening test/procedure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Groups less likely to postpone cancer screening included older women compared to younger women and Japanese American men and women compared to White men and women.
This study revealed specific associations of race/ethnicity, age, education level, and comorbidities with the cancer-related screening and healthcare of MEC participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased monitoring of patients in high-risk groups for cancer and other diseases is of the utmost importance as the chance of undiagnosed cases or poor prognosis is increased as a result of delayed screening and treatment.
This research was partially supported by the Omidyar 'Ohana Foundation and grant U01 CA164973 from the National Cancer Institute.
Limited information is available for patients with breast cancer (BC) and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), especially among underrepresented racial/ethnic populations.
This is a COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19) registry-based retrospective cohort study of females with active or history of BC and laboratory-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection diagnosed between March 2020 and June 2021 in the US. Primary outcome was COVID-19 severity measured on a five-level ordinal scale, including none of the following complications, hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, mechanical ventilation, and all-cause mortality. Multivariable ordinal logistic regression model identified characteristics associated with COVID-19 severity.
1383 female patient records with BC and COVID-19 were included in the analysis, the median age was 61 years, and median follow-up was 90 days. Multivariable analysis revealed higher odds of COVID-19 severity for older age (aOR per decade, 1.48 [95% CI, 1.32–1.67]); Black patients (aOR 1.74; 95 CI 1.24–2.45), Asian Americans and Pacific Islander patients (aOR 3.40; 95 CI 1.70–6.79) and Other (aOR 2.97; 95 CI 1.71–5.17) racial/ethnic groups; worse ECOG performance status (ECOG PS ≥2: aOR, 7.78 [95% CI, 4.83–12.5]); pre-existing cardiovascular (aOR, 2.26 [95% CI, 1.63–3.15])/pulmonary comorbidities (aOR, 1.65 [95% CI, 1.20–2.29]); diabetes mellitus (aOR, 2.25 [95% CI, 1.66–3.04]); and active and progressing cancer (aOR, 12.5 [95% CI, 6.89–22.6]). Hispanic ethnicity, timing, and type of anti-cancer therapy modalities were not significantly associated with worse COVID-19 outcomes. The total all-cause mortality and hospitalization rate for the entire cohort was 9% and 37%, respectively however, it varied according to the BC disease status.
Using one of the largest registries on cancer and COVID-19, we identified patient and BC-related factors associated with worse COVID-19 outcomes. After adjusting for baseline characteristics, underrepresented racial/ethnic patients experienced worse outcomes compared to non-Hispanic White patients.
This study was partly supported by National Cancer Institute grant number P30 CA068485 to Tianyi Sun, Sanjay Mishra, Benjamin French, Jeremy L Warner; P30-CA046592 to Christopher R Friese; P30 CA023100 for Rana R McKay; P30-CA054174 for Pankil K Shah and Dimpy P Shah; KL2 TR002646 for Pankil Shah and the American Cancer Society and Hope Foundation for Cancer Research (MRSG-16-152-01-CCE) and P30-CA054174 for Dimpy P Shah. REDCap is developed and supported by Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research grant support (UL1 TR000445 from NCATS/NIH). The funding sources had no role in the writing of the manuscript or the decision to submit it for publication.
CCC19 registry is registered on ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04354701.