Rinesh Parmar, an intensive care doctor who heads the United Kingdom’s Doctors’ Association, agreed: “The amount in the community was grossly underestimated. We were undertesting.”
The mortality rate of the coronavirus has been a moving target since the outbreak began.
Early reports out of China put it as high as 7 percent. But that was based mostly on hospitalized patients, and by the time the wave hit the United States, epidemiologists believed it was closer to 2 to 3 percent. Now, factoring in asymptomatic infections, as well as mild cases that might not be part of official tallies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts the mortality rate at 0.65 percent.
Epidemiologists also look closely at deaths per 100,000 people in the population. Because that rate is less dependent on the wild variations in testing capacity, it can be a useful number to compare regions or nations.
To put these numbers into context, the infection fatality rate for the flu, Adalja said, is about 0.1 percent, making the coronavirus about six times more deadly.
Read the full article in the Washington Post here.
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