How deadly is coronavirus? How much shall we be afraid?

Everyone is struggling with the fallout from coronavirus epidemic. Healthdom’s team strives to provide you with an impartial, most up-to-date, and accurate information

Date: 03/19/2020

How deadly is coronavirus? How much shall we be afraid?

Everyone is struggling with the fallout from coronavirus epidemic. Healthdom’s team strives to provide you with an impartial, most up-to-date, and accurate information on how dangerous this is so that you can direct your life in an informed manner.

Based on monitoring of various agencies and media reports, here are the objective statistics that we gathered for you as reference points from multiple sources:

  • Some reports are highly alarming: internal briefing for Goldman Sachs’ customers last week had an expert who suggested that 150 million people will get infected in the US, of which 2% will die (so in total up to 3 million).
  • According to NY Times’ Sheri Fink M.D. up to 2.2 million of people in the United States could die.
  • However, there are a number of powerful statistics and authorities which point to a much milder scenarios.
  • Diamond Princess, a cruise-ship where the epidemic raged for a number of days before being detected, had perfect conditions for infection: closed, crammed area, communal dining tables, central air conditioning. Only 17% of 3,711 onboard were infected and 7 died in total (so 1.9 per 1,000). The interesting statistic is that approximately half of those infected did not have any symptoms, which means that the true fatality ratio among infected was 0.91%. Please note that cruises have typically a higher proportion of older guests, which probably inflates this statistic even further for general population.
  • Another surprising results were announced by doctor Crisanti, Director of Virology Lab of University of Padua in Italy, that only 10% of people infected with COVID19 show any symptoms. This is based on a sample of 3,000. This would mean that the denominator for the ratio is much bigger, therefore the actual mortality ratio among infected is much lower than previously stated because far more people are not captured in the denominator.
  • Taking into account the lessons from China and Dimond Princess, Timothy Russel, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine estimates that the true mortality is around 0.6-0.7 per 1,000 people. This compares to 0.1 per 1,000 people for a regular flu.
  • Michael Levitt, a noble-price laureate for chemistry in 2013, claims that the epidemic is slowing down in China. In the early phase the infection rate was 2.2 people a day on average per person. Then it rapidly slowed down to 1.5 and currently only 3% of people in the Wuhan province are estimated to be infected given radical measures taken to contain the virus. Similar measures are taken by the US government which are expected to suppress significantly the infection rate.

 

Also, let’s remember that the virus appears not to be very dangerous for children, young and middle-aged adults. Its deadliness is highly concentrated on the elderly, particularly with pre-existing conditions. In Italy so far 78% of all deaths were citizens aged 70+. 

Additionally, men are at the much higher risk than women. 72% of those who died in Italy so far were men. 

We hope this will give you some much needed objective data for your own assessment. These are fairly diverse views, but we believe that you now have a broader and greater perspective. 

Stay healthy and do not panic – we will get through this together! 

 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/children-faq.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fspecific-groups%2Fchildren-faq.html

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/coronavirus-outbreak-diamond-princess-cruise-ship-death-rate

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51777049

https://www.ft.com/content/a9b2eea2-6791-11ea-800d-da70cff6e4d3

https://www.google.com/amp/s/m.jpost.com/HEALTH-SCIENCE/Israeli-nobel-laureate-Coronavirus-spread-is-slowing-621145/amp

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NY Times, 17th March 2020