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UT Arlington Math Professor Shows How Quickly Coronavirus Spreads

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Dr. Christopher Kribs, a UT Arlington mathematics professor whose research focuses on studying the spread of viruses through math models, explained how exponential growth in infections happens through contacts.

"Regardless of what the number is. Whether it's 1-and-half or 17. That factor gets multiplied with every period of time that passes and that's what leads to exponential growth," said Dr. Kribs.

Dr. Christopher Kribs
Dr. Christopher Kribs - UT Arlington mathematics professor (CBS 11)

In a nutshell it's what we have seen with the coronavirus and its quick spread.

He says his models also provide details on why it's important to adhere to the restriction being put in place to flatten the curve of cases.

"What you see in any case it always starts off with this exponential increase and eventually it tapers off and it tapers off because you start running out of people to infect," he said.

Dr. Kribs said that tapering off could take a while as people isolate and minimize contacts, but ultimately he says it's better than overwhelming the health care system now.

"That means the total number of people who get infected at the end of outbreak will be lower and the people who do get infected will be spread out over time and not one sudden rush, he said."

He suspects this will last at minimum two or three months, but said it could be six months.

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