How serious is the 2019–20 Coronavirus?

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Mudassir Ali
Mar 03, 2020 05:36 PM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Mar 03, 2020 05:36 PM

COVID-19 is very infectious (Each person infects 1.4–6.77 others), but rarely fatal (0.6–2.5%).

19% of China cases in severe/critical condition (16%) or dead (2.6%)
5% of non-China cases in severe/critical condition (4.0%) or dead (0.6%)

Maybe most infected people show no symptoms (possibly 10–70%).
Non-China: 4% detected while showing no symptoms (16/447).
Cruiseship: 70% detected show no symptoms.

Kill more men (64%) than women (36%), and people with high blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease.

People under 50 have little danger of dying (<1%).
Children may have light/no symptoms (as with SARS & MERS).

Case-Fatality Rates (CFR) China 2/11/20:
Age
80+ 14.8%
70-79 8.0%
60-69 3.6%
50-59 1.3%

Effects of COVID-19 are similar to OC43 (one of four other mild coronaviruses probably responsible for 1/4 of all “common colds”, 15% severe, 0.2% death).

China: 1,870 (2.6%) dead, 12,682 (17%) recovered, 11,741 (16%) severe/critical, 72,530 confirmed, 6.242 suspected, 141,552 under observation

Outside China: 5 (0.6%) dead, 158 (18%) recovered, 36 (4.0%) severe/critical, 897 cases
- Tue 2/18 1:04 pm Beijing Time (Mon 9:04 pm PT)

Mudassir Ali
- Mar 03, 2020 05:37 PM

Originally Answered: How serious is the Wuhan virus?

Really? Not very.

The death rate is currently 2–3%. That’s pretty high, but not high enough to cause major concern like MERS (35%), Ebola (90%) or even SARS (9%). Influenza has a much lower death rate, yet has thousands of new cases every day. We don’t hear much of it on a daily basis. Here in Perth, WA, 14 people died of a strong flu within a month or two. No one really batted an eyelid.

Now, let’s look at the stats. 2–3% of people have died, almost all in the Wuhan region. The Wuhan region is a poor region relative to the rest of the developed world. A lot of the areas are unsanitary, unhealthy, and have poor medical facilities, much like other parts of the world. Air pollution is as extreme as it gets. That automatically bumps up the death rates.

But really, the key thing that kicks up the death rates is fear. Take the following scenario:

You are in Wuhan. You start to feel feverish, headache, weak. Your temp spikes to 40 degrees. It becomes pretty clear that you have contracted Novel Coronavirus. You know that if you seek help, you will be quarantined in an oversubscribed hospital. You will lose all civil rights during quarantine. You are basically a prisoner. So what do you do? Take some paracetamol, drink fluids, and lie in bed until you feel better. Two or three days pass and you feel good again. Phew! Well done, you survived Novel Corona virus, nobody knows, you self quarantined successfully on your own terms.

Now rewind a few steps. You lay in bed for a few days, and things start taking a turn for the worse. You’ve always suffered from chronic asthma, and being 74 years old, your children worry about you. Your breathing becomes very laboured, your temperature isn’t controllable and is reaching 41.5, your lips and skin are turning a bluish hue as hypoxia creeps in. Forget the quarantine concern, your going to die if you don’t seek help. You get to hospital, you’re in a bad way, it’s past the point of no return and you pass away. You were one of 200 that admitted into hospital today, 5 of you died.

Let’s review the scenarios. The person who made a quick and full recovery didn’t receive treatment, and so were not registered as a sufferer. The person who was immunocompromised with a complex medical history sought help, and was registered as a sufferer, one that died from the virus.

So all in all, the death rates are bumped up by the fact that those who are at highest risk are the ones making up a larger percentage of the rate of contraction, and are bumping up the death rate higher than it actually is.

We don’t know the true death rate. The only way would be to get a random selection of 10,000 people from around the world into a huge room and infect them, administer treatment and record how many deaths there are, with a control room of 10,000 people given a fake virus. Obviously there are ethical approval issues with this study.

So all in all, the “Wuhan virus” is nowhere near as serious as is being made out. What is serious is the human behaviour that led to the outbreak of the virus. We got lucky with MERS. It was not transmissible from human to human. We got lucky with Ebola, it was endemic in regions of low population that don’t travel. One day we won’t be so lucky. That population-shattering virus is only round the corner. So please, to my friends in China that partake, please stop eating shit that you aren’t supposed to eat

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