Over the next four weeks, the number of global COVID-19 cases could reach 50 million, with 644,000 estimated deaths, according to AIR Worldwide, Verisk’s catastrophe modeling unit.

As of May 19, 2020, there were 4,731,458 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 316,169 deaths worldwide, said AIR, citing data from the World Health Organization. Of those, the United States saw 1,477,516 confirmed cases and 89,272 deaths of those who tested positive for the virus.

AIR noted that actual counts are likely to be substantively higher due to underreporting.

“Variance in publicly reported estimates stems from a number of factors, not the least of which are misreporting and underreporting of infections and deaths,” said Doug Fullam, director of life and health modeling at Verisk.

Fullam said the underreporting is likely due to the fact that “60-80 percent of people infected with COVID-19 may exhibit no symptoms or only mild symptoms and, most likely, do not get tested. The cases of COVID-19 that are reported, therefore, represent at best only 20-40 percent of the total population.”

Forward projections and a breakdown of cases and deaths by country are provided in the Verisk COVID-19 Projection Tool, which takes into account this underreporting.

All the information used in this analysis is derived from the AIR Pandemic Model, a stochastic modeling framework that can simulate the impact of a pandemic by age and sex for more than 10,000 tessels (similar to municipality). For coronavirus pathogens, the AIR Pandemic Model estimates the cases on a daily basis, using an SEIR (Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Removed) modeling framework. This allows AIR to more accurately model the disease dynamics, such as travel patterns and restrictions; changes to mitigation efforts; introduction of pharmaceutical or nonpharmaceutical interventions; and impact on transmission due to changes in susceptible population.

Source: AIR Worldwide