Healthcare experts last year simulated a coronavirus outbreak and it killed 65 million people, reports New York Magazine.
Dubbed “Event 201,” the exercise took place in October and focused on emergency preparedness in the event of a “very severe pandemic.” It was hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
The simulation did not deal with 2019-nCoV, which started in Wuhan, China, and has affected 80,000 people globally. In mainland China, there have been 2,663 deaths.
The CDC’s director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease on Tuesday warned of an imminent coronavirus pandemic and said parents need to prepare for school closures and “significant disruption” in their lives.
The simulation virus at Hopkins, CAPS for Coronavirus Associated Pulmonary Syndrome, began in Brazilian pigs and made its way to farmers. It resulted in mild flu-like symptoms and, in extreme cases, pneumonia. The illness caused 30,000 illnesses and 2,000 deaths.
“To be clear, the Center for Health Security and partners did not make a prediction during our tabletop exercise,” the center said in a statement. “For the scenario, we modeled a fictional coronavirus pandemic, but we explicitly stated that it was not a prediction. Instead, the exercise served to highlight preparedness and response challenges that would likely arise in a very severe pandemic.
“We are not now predicting that the nCoV-2019 outbreak will kill 65 million people. Although our tabletop exercise included a mock novel coronavirus, the inputs we used for modeling the potential impact of that fictional virus are not similar to nCoV-2019.”