Coronavirus shaping up to be less deadly than initially anticipated
By mid-April. Pennsylvania reported more than 18,000 known coronavirus cases with more than 300 fatalities.
By Chadwick Dolgos
There are currently more than 24 million confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide. In Pennsylvania, more than 138,000 cases are reported, with Allegheny County’s total exceeding 10,000.
Of those world wide confirmed cases, 3.42% (824,712) have resulted in death while 69.06% (16,651,064) have recovered. The remaining 27.52% of cases are currently unresolved, with 99% of them considered to be in mild condition, and the remaining 1% considered to be severe cases.
Positive COVID-19 cases account for 0.31% of the world’s population, which is estimated to be around 7.8 billion people. Less than 0.01% of the population (0.0001%) has died as a result of COVID-19.
The United States currently leads the world in the confirmed total number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1.73% of the country’s population of more than 331 million has been affected by the new coronavirus, with a total of 5,715,567 confirmed cases in the U.S. Of these cases, 3.09% (176,617) have resulted in death.
The most severe health crisis in history, according to the CDC, was the 1918 (H1N1) influenza pandemic.
The CDC estimates that roughly 500 million worldwide became infected with the virus. Almost a third of the world’s population of 1.8 billion was affected. Of those affected, the CDC estimates nearly 10%, or 50 million cases, resulted in death. The 1918 pandemic claimed the lives of 2.78% of the population.
In 2009, a new H1N1 virus emerged in the U.S. and quickly spread across the world.
The CDC estimates there were 60.8 million total cases of the virus, accounting for just 0.89% of the world’s population of 6.84 million at the time. Of those cases, 274,304 hospitalizations and 12,469 deaths were in the U.S. alone.
During the first year of the 2009 H1N1 virus, the CDC estimates that between 151,700-575,400 died from the virus, less than 0.01% of the world’s population (0.002-0.008%).
While experts were predicting COVID-19 to be more deadly than the 1918 flu pandemic in its first year, the data suggests that its mortality rate is more similar to that of the 2009 H1N1 virus. COVID-19’s low death rate could be attributed to either miscalculation by experts early on, or the quick and swift responses by governments, businesses, and organizations alike to slow the spread of the virus outlined in the timeline above.
Whatever the explanation, COVID-19 is shaping up to be less deadly than initially anticipated.