Coronavirus: What are the chances of dying?

Two medical workers put on protective clothing at a hospital to treat coronavirus patients in Wuhan, China.

Researchers currently think that between five and 40 coronavirus cases in 1,000 will result in death, with the best guess of nine in 1,000 or about 1%.
But it depends on a range of factors: your age, sex, and general health and the health system you are in.

How hard is it to work out the death rate?

It is PhD-level hard. Even counting cases is tricky.
Most cases of most viruses will go uncounted because people tend not to visit the doctor with mild symptoms.
The different death rates we are seeing reported around the world are unlikely to be due to different versions of the virus.

According to research by Imperial College, it's because different countries are better or worse at spotting the milder, harder to count cases.
So under-reporting cases make it easy to overestimate the death rate. But you can also get it wrong in the other direction.
It takes time before an infection results in recovery or death.
If you include all cases that haven't yet had a chance to run their course, you will underestimate the death rate because you are missing the cases that will end in death later.

Post a Comment