Health

Coronavirus Death Toll is Still Uncertain as Many Cases are Not reported

The rapidly spreading coronavirus has reached more than 30 countries but the good news is that thousands of people are getting discharges from hospitals after a complete recovery. The number of new coronavirus cases has finally dropped to its lowest level till now in the last six weeks.

But exactly how deadly is this coronavirus outbreak? The answer to this needs an extensive evaluation of this fast-spreading outbreak where new cases are being reported every day.

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The data on coronavirus linked deaths suggests that it is way more deadly than the common cold (flu) virus, as per the World Health Organization (WHO). The director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that;

“Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected.”

But the death numbers that it has reported are fluctuating and it is almost impossible to predict if it would be worse or the same as a flu outbreak. Dr. Marc Lipsitch from Harvard’s School of Public Health says that;

“In every outbreak, there are at least two competing biases that make the case fatality rate look higher or lower,”

Some of these sick people might die and others may live with mild symptoms and sometimes no symptoms at all. This is “because the testing has been so variable and not adequate in many places” he says.

The death toll of coronavirus is still uncertain.  The latest estimate of the World Health Organization (WHO) says that nearly 3.4% of patients are dead this week. Taking a closer look at cases in China, WHO believes that approximately 2% to 4% of from Wuhan, the city where this virus emerged have died.

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In other parts of China, people are getting sick and put under the diagnostic test for coronavirus and reported many people with mild symptoms. So the death rate in the rest of China is comparatively lower, making only 0.7%. These numbers fluctuated every other day but finally, China has reported a dropping rate in coronavirus new cases.

Outside China, Iran has been hit with coronavirus where 4.4% of the diagnosed patients of coronavirus (1500 people) have died. The overall death rate outside Hubei in China and the rest of the world is approximately 1%.

The coronavirus outbreak is now inclined towards the Middle East, Europe and the United States and these governments are all set to take necessary steps in its control and prevention.

In many places, treating people with apparently mild symptoms such as fever, flu, cough or related illness is a top priority. So the death rate may look higher but actually there is no accurate handling of the reported data on coronavirus cases and deaths.

National Health Commission of China has published its report last week which elaborates that there is a high chance of missing many cases while calculating the infected patients and deaths. On average, 44% of patients suffered from fever when reported to the hospital but 89% of patients developed it after they were hospitalized.

The severe infection cases were reported as 16% where only 5% were kept under treatment in ICU and 2.3% of them needed machine-based aid for breathing.

Older patients exhibited more severe symptoms and were at high risk. It included patients of heart diseases and lung diseases.

Overall, WHO says that mild symptoms showing patients are completely recovered in no more than two weeks. But people with severe symptoms take three to six weeks for recovery.

About the author

Areeba Hussain

Graduated in Medical Microbiology, Areeba is working as a full-time medical writer for the last few years. She enjoys summarizing the latest researches into readable news to convey the recent advancements in medicine and human health.

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