In-depth study of Wuhan outbreak reveals COVID-19 survival rate is 99.33%
Even in the elderly, more than nine out of ten survive coronavirus
March 30, 2020
CNN – How many people die after being infected with the novel coronavirus?
Fewer than previously calculated, according to a study released Monday, but still more than die from the flu.
The research, published in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, estimated that about 0.66% of those infected with the virus will die.
That coronavirus death rate, which is lower than earlier estimates, takes into account potentially milder cases that often go undiagnosed — but it’s still far higher than the 0.1% of people who are killed by the flu.
[So the survival rates are 99.9 percent for influenza, and 99.33 percent for COVID-19; is that difference worth plunging in the nation into a depression, and denying millions access to routine medical care, dental care, normal daily living? – Ed.]
When undetected infections aren’t taken into account, the Lancet study found that the coronavirus death rate was 1.38%, which is more consistent with earlier reports.
Early in March, for example, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that “if you just do the math, the math is about 2%.”
But he emphasized that the number could go down, saying that “as a group it’s going to depend completely on what the factor of asymptomatic cases are.”
That’s because death rates typically only consider reported coronavirus cases, which tend to be more severe, and thus brought to the attention of health care workers. Asymptomatic cases — or mild cases — may not always be counted.
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?
To find out, researchers looked at how widespread infections were among people repatriated to their home countries on flights from Wuhan, China.
According to the study, these people received PCR tests — a type of test that would be able to identify how many of those travelers were shedding the virus, even if they didn’t show symptoms.
Researchers combined that data on “infection prevalence” with public information on reported cases and deaths, estimating the overall death rate to be about two-thirds of 1%.
That number, though, went up in older adults, with 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. Out of 1,000 young adults infected, then, about 1 or 2 could die, with the youngest people facing the lowest risk … Read more.