The question of how many people die after being infected with SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the COVID-19 death rate, has been a moving target as testing and data, especially suspect early and continuing data out of China where the outbreak began, was incomplete.
New research, which takes into account milder cases that often go undiagnosed, shows the COVID-19 death rate is significantly lower than earlier rough estimates.
The research, published in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, estimated that about 0.66% of those infected with the virus will die.
In this study, researchers tried to estimate the true “infection fatality rate.” In other words, out of everybody infected — not just those sick enough to get tested — how many people will die?
Approximately 7.8% of those 80 or older estimated to die after infection. And deaths were estimated to be exceedingly rare in children younger than 9, with a fatality rate of just 0.00161%. For age groups younger than 40, the death rate was never higher than 0.16%, according to the study… “There might be outlying cases that get a lot of media attention, but our analysis very clearly shows that at aged 50 and over, hospitalisation is much more likely than in those under 50, and a greater proportion of cases are likely to be fatal,” said Azra Ghani, a professor at Imperial College London and an author of the study, in a statement.
MacDailyNews Take: Even though most people who understand basic math figured that the early COVID-19 death rate estimates were likely far too high, this is still relatively good news, certainly compared to early estimates. However, without a vaccine, COVID-19 is still far more potent than even a severe flu season (on average, in the U.S., the mortality rate for influenza is 0.1%). Social distancing, staying home, proper and frequent handwashing, etc. is imperative! More info on the Prevention & Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) via the U.S. CDC is here.
The full research report can be found here: “Estimates of the severity of coronavirus disease 2019: a model-based analysis” – The Lancet Infectious Diseases.