After watching Kentaro Iwata’s video about his evaluation of infectious disease control (or lack thereof) on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, I can safely say there are quite a number of universes in which he was chosen to lead the ID control effort and the spread of COVID-19 was much less. His comments summarizing his findings are revealing:
Diamond Princess has completely inadequate infection control, and there is no professional ID person in charge. Passengers, crews, health care professionals working inside are at risk of infection, and the practice is even worse than what I saw in Africa. Immediate action is needed to save people inside.
I was curious about how the experience of the Diamond Princess compares with past infections of Influenza and found this 2010 paper: Outbreaks of Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 and Seasonal Influenca A (H3N2) on Cruise Ship. A summary of the paper’s findings:
To determine the extent and pattern of influenza transmission and effectiveness of containment measures, we investigated dual outbreaks of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 and influenza A (H3N2) that had occurred on a cruise ship in May 2009. Of 1,970 passengers and 734 crew members, 82 (3.0%) were infected with pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus, 98 (3.6%) with influenza A (H3N2) virus, and 2 (0.1%) with both.
Does the increased infection rate of COVID-19 on the Princess Diamond mean that COVID-19 is that much more infectious? Or does it mean that, as Kentaro Iwata noticed, there was no real infectious disease control occurring on the Princess Diamond.
Update 2020-0219: Adding graph of Princess Diamond infections-to-date. I wonder how this graph looks in the universes where Kentaro Iwata, or someone equally qualified, was in charge. I hate feeling the universe where someone knew that the ship infectious disease control was substandard and decided against saying anything out of a desire to get “real data” on how COVID-19 spreads in a “more realistic” environment.