- Cruise Ship Data, a Reliable Coronavirus Death Rate Estimate.
- On Diamond Princess even the mild cases weren’t missed and were tested a month ago.
- Nearly all scientists criticised the 3.4% death rate reported by the World Health Organization as too high, because of the under-reporting of cases.
- The data from the cruise ship compared with Chinese data, estimate that the death rate from the virus is about 0.5 percent
As people with mild symptoms often don’t bother to come in for testing and don’t get counted, reliable data on coronavirus’s death rate has been scarce, with early numbers coming from China, reports Fox News.
Data from cruise ship
The results from the cruise ship Diamond Princess could help provide a reliable estimate, medical researchers believe.
An examination of ship data concludes that widely-reported death rates are simplistic and too high. On the Diamond Princess cruise ship, mild cases weren’t missed, because every passenger and crew member was tested a month ago.
Dr. Timothy Russell, a mathematical biologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, part of the University of London system said the data was valuable data because all people were tested.
WHO reported too high death rate
Dr. Timothy said nearly all scientists criticised the 3.4% death rate reported by the World Health Organization as too high, because of the under-reporting of cases.
Russell and nine other researchers at the school analyzed the data from the cruise ship and, comparing it with Chinese data, estimate that the death rate from the virus is about 0.5 percent, that’s still much deadlier than the flu.
What the cruise ship data reveals:
Most people who get the virus have mild symptoms or less
According to the latest daily update from Japan’s National Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, on the Diamond Princess,
- nearly half of all people on the ship who tested positive showed no symptoms, and
- a month later still do not show symptoms.
According to CDC press briefing last week, U.S. officials –
- On the boat, 328 out of 697 people don’t have symptoms despite testing positive.
- Most people on the ship experienced the coronavirus as either a normal cold, or less.
People with mild cases are less likely to stay home, which makes it easier for the disease to spread to the most vulnerable people.
Dr. Saad B. Omer, an epidemiologist and Director of the Yale Institute for Global Health said, as mild cases are more mobile, social distancing will be helpful.
High death rate among the elderly
Out of the 697 who tested positive a month ago, according to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare-
- seven people have died on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, make for a death rate of 1% on the ship, and more deaths are possible,
- 15 remain in critical condition, and
- 30 were once in critical condition but have improved and a further 388 have recovered.
The ship’s average age was 58, and 33 percent were 70 or older. All seven deaths so far were of passengers aged 70 or older.
The researchers used the ship’s data to estimate a death rate among those aged over 70 of 9 percent — a very high death rate.
The overall death rate is likely 5-10 times higher than the normal flu
The London researchers when they included mild cases reported, the “true” Chinese data by their calculation, with the overall age-and-missing-case-adjusted fatality rate would be about 0.5 percent.
That estimate is dramatically lower than the 3.4 percent crude death rate released by the World Health Organization.
However, even a 0.5 percent death rate would make it five to 10 times deadlier than the flu this year.
The CDC estimates that between 34-49 million Americans have had the flu this year already, with 20,000 – 50,000 deaths; that works out to a 0.05 – 0.1 percent death rate.
“Social distancing” dramatically helps reduce spread
Experts told the ship’s data gives an approximate estimate of the virus’ lethality and that it illustrates an urgent need for “social distancing.”
Meaning, avoiding group settings, and even unnecessary one-on-one contact, especially with the elderly, and particularly when having any symptoms. Cough, fever and shortness of breath are the most common symptoms of the coronavirus.
Omer said, “All age groups transmit the virus, but the outcomes are most severe in elderly — don’t expose them.”
He added, “But social isolation is itself also a risk factor for death among the elderly. Call your grandma.”
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Source: Fox News