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SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) by the numbers

Bar-On, Yinon M. and Flamholz, Avi and Phillips, Rob and Milo, Ron (2020) SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) by the numbers. eLife, 9 . Art. No. e57309. ISSN 2050-084X. PMCID PMC7224694. doi:10.7554/elife.57309.

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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.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Bar-On, Yinon M.0000-0001-8477-609X
Flamholz, Avi0000-0002-9278-5479
Phillips, Rob0000-0003-3082-2809
Milo, Ron0000-0003-1641-2299
Additional Information:© 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. Received: March 27, 2020. Accepted: March 30, 2020. Accepted Manuscript published: March 31, 2020 (version 1). We thank Uri Alon, Niv Antonovsky, David Baltimore, Rachel Banks, Arren Bar Even, Naama Barkai, Molly Bassette, Menalu Berihoon, Biana Bernshtein, Pamela Bjorkman, Cecilia Blikstad, Julia Borden, Bill Burkholder, Griffin Chure, Lillian Cohn, Bernadeta Dadonaite, Emmie De wit, Ron Diskin, Ana Duarte, Tal Einav, Avigdor Eldar, Elizabeth Fischer, William Gelbart, Alon Gildoni, Britt Glausinger, Shmuel Gleizer, Dani Gluck, Soichi Hirokawa, Greg Huber, Christina Hueschen, Amit Huppert, Shalev Itzkovitz, Martin Jonikas, Leeat Keren, Gilmor Keshet, Marc Kirschner, Roy Kishony, Amy Kistler, Liad Levi, Sergei Maslov, Adi Millman, Amir Milo, Elad Noor, Gal Ofir, Alan Perelson, Steve Quake, Itai Raveh, Andrew Rennekamp, Tom Roeschinger, Daniel Rokhsar, Alex Rubinsteyn, Gabriel Salmon, Maya Schuldiner, Eran Segal, Ron Sender, Alex Sigal, Maya Shamir, Arik Shams, Mike Springer, Adi Stern, Noam Stern-Ginossar, Lubert Stryer, Dan Tawfik, Boris Veytsman, Aryeh Wides, Tali Wiesel, Anat Yarden, Yossi Yovel, Dudi Zeevi, Mushon Zer Aviv, and Alexander Zlokapa for productive feedback on this manuscript. Figure created using Biorender. Funding: National Institutes of Health (1R35 GM118043-01 (Maximizing Investigators Research Award)) - Rob Phillips. Charles and Louise Gartner professional chair - Ron Milo. Azrieli Fellow - 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. The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIH1R35 GM118043-01
Charles and Louise Gartner professional chairUNSPECIFIED
PubMed Central ID:PMC7224694
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200331-215659202
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:102210
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:01 Apr 2020 05:10
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:09

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