A study just published by Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) offers a broad view of the ongoing coronavirus. The document examines as many as 44.000 of the infected patients. Now we know more about the killer, and personally I see something reassuring for the first.
While the cases of Covid-19 coronavirus now exceed 74.000 infections, the WHO Director-General confirms: the data of this new, gigantic study sheds light on some gaps in our understanding of the disease.
"These Coronavirus data allow us to better understand the age range of those affected, the real severity of the disease and the mortality rate", says Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. "As such, they are very important to enable WHO to provide reliable data."
The coronavirus seen up close
The report covers 44.672 confirmed cases of Covid-19:
- 1.023 dead to date;
- The total mortality rate is of 2,3%.
- Most deaths are of age over 50 years;
- Nearly 20.000 cases in patients under 49, but only 64 deaths;
- 416 confirmed cases but no death in children up to 9 years;
- The mortality rate in patients over 80 years old is 14,8%;
- Over 80% of the cases observed is minor
One of the prevailing mysteries surrounding the coronavirus is why infection rates are so low in children. To be brief: the experts don't know yet.
There may be a physiological reason why children are less likely to contract the virus, but it is equally likely that these low rates of infection are due to effective measures of quarantine.
In terms of the severity of the disease, the fact that over 80% of confirmed cases have been classified as mild means that the vast majority of infected people suffer from only mild symptoms that do not progress to pneumonia.
More serious situation for those who also have other pathologies
- The mortality rate of people who do not suffer from any other pathology is 0,9%;
- That of people who already have cardiovascular disease is del 10,5%;
- That of people who already have diabetes is del 7,3%;
- That of people who already have chronic respiratory diseases is del 6,3%;
- That of people who already have hypertension is del 6%;
Real coronavirus data, Slight downward trend in infections, but the situation can change again
The new report also identifies a downward trend in new cases, which suggests a possible decline in the outbreak. But WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warns against interpreting this downward trend as the end of the problem.
"This trend must be interpreted with great caution", says. “Trends can change if new countries beyond China are hit. It is too early to say whether this reported decline will continue. Each scenario is still on the table".
Small signs of hope
The report, produced by The Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Emergency Response Epidemiology Team, notes with a veil of optimism that the downward trend of the epidemic curve could be an indication of the success of the containment measures taken by the Chinese government in recent weeks.
"... the downward trend of the overall epidemic curve suggests that perhaps the isolation of entire cities and the transmission of critical information (for example, the promotion of hand washing, use of masks and seeking treatment) in high frequency through multiple channels they are helping to contain the epidemic ”.
Watch out for the "rebound"
However, the team warns of an upcoming, possible new surge in infections, as quarantine measures will inevitably relax and large numbers of people will return to daily activities.
“Even if the epidemic appears to be in decline, we could still face further challenges. Huge numbers of people will soon return to work and school after the extended New Year's holidays. We must prepare for a possible rebound of the Covid-19 epidemic in the coming weeks and months ", concludes the team.
The important thing is to know the enemy.
The real data on the coronavirus show us the way: Covid-19 must be faced with the utmost determination without panic, protecting everyone.