While caution must be exercised to control the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, the statistics on the number of severe cases and the relatively low mortality rate should help ease Americans’ fears at this point in time.
First, the coronavirus mortality rate in the United States has been steadily declining. Worldometers.info, the source of coronavirus statistics used by the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, shows the mortality rate in the United States declined from 4.1% on March 8 to 1.3% as of this evening. Of the nearly 24,000 cases, there are 301 recorded deaths. Worldometers updates the data several times each day, with breakouts by country and state.
The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota says the Covid-19 case-fatality rate (CFR) is so far much lower than previous pandemics.
“In comparison to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) coronaviruses, which were both identified in the past 20 years, COVID-19 is likely more highly transmissible but not as deadly, the researchers noted. (SARS had a CFR of 9.6%; MERS has a CFR of 34.4%.)”
The number of confirmed cases will continue to rise as more people are tested, but the hope remains that preventive actions like handwashing and social distancing will lessen the spread and keep the number of critical cases at relatively low levels.
At this writing, only 64 of the nearly 24,000 cases identified in the U.S. are considered serious (breathing difficulty) or critical (respiratory failure, septic shock, and/or multiple organ dysfunction or failure) as of this afternoon’s update on Worldometers.info.
The percentage of the U.S. population with Covid-19 is also very low. With a population of about 330.4 million, the 23,393 cases identified so far means that only 7-1,000th of a percent of U.S. citizens are infected as of this evening.
The Sentinel will regularly update these statistics on our Facebook page.