Source: Center For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

(Chartr) No-One Is Invincible to Coronavirus:

The widely discussed fact that younger people are less at risk from coronavirus is 100% true. This data from the Centre For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) is one of the best estimates we have for how this disease affects those who become infected. Hopefully it confirms what you already know; that fatality rates for confirmed cases in the 20-44 age group are extremely low: around 0.1-0.2%.

However, low fatality rates can lull people into a false sense of security. The CDC also estimates that the proportion of 20-44 age group confirmed cases that have required hospitalisation is somewhere between 14% & 21% so far.

Given that you’re reading a newsletter about data we’re aware that we’re probably preaching to the converted, but these hospitalisation rates really do emphasise the importance of flattening the curve.

If millions of 20-44 year olds get Covid-19, the vast majority will be end up being totally fine. But if almost one-fifth of them need hospital treatment in order to be fine, then hospitals will get overwhelmed extremely quickly.

Matt’s Note June 19th: Look at Table 3 Here for another more up to date case surveillance report from the CDC

EDIT: Matt’s Note: while random sampling “antibody tests” done in New York may initially suggest that death/hospitalization rates could be lower than initially believed due to a large portion of cases being asymptomatic [without symptoms] (presymptomatic?), it’s unclear to me if there there could be false positive rate in the test, a sampling problem skewing these numbers, or if the new numbers are indeed accurate.

Regardless, even in the best case the numbers being presented thusly are much higher than the normal range of known flu-like illnesses and are greater in magnitude than I’m personally comfortable with.

EDIT: Matt’s Note: a more recent study from Indiana University released preliminary findings (using more comprehensive antibody testing) that may indicate a lower infection fatality rate than presented here (though still significantly higher than that of the seasonal flu):

IUPUI scientists estimate the infection-fatality rate for the novel coronavirus in Indiana to be 0.58 percent, making it nearly six times more deadly than the seasonal flu, which has an infection-fatality rate of 0.1, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Extra EDIT:

The full nature of antibodies / antibody testing and the significance of these results are not clear to me at this time.

Further EDIT:

While my foremost goal is to provide accurate and timely information to readers, I am somewhat concerned that this study (to many people’s minds) may dull their sense of the health risks of this virus and the necessity of Non-Pharmecutical Interventions (NPI’s) including physical distancing, limiting travel, face coverings, etc. to combat the spread of this disease.

On a purely objective level, I feel it necessary to state that lethality numbers don’t necessarily always paint the full picture. Covid19 / SARS-COV-2 is likely to be a ugly (severe health complications) illness for just about anyone:

I am by no means, however, either studied or qualified to speak with authority on these topics.

Please continue to consult the advice of qualified public health officials.

EDIT: 2020-06-17

Infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm has cast some doubt today in an interview today on NPR regarding certain forms of antibody testing, as it exists currently in the USA (for certain purposes).

Please continue to consult the advice of qualified public health officials.



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