There is a lot of conflicting info out there… How deadly is COVID-19, really?
The most recent and best estimate of the infection-fatality risk (IFR) of COVID-19 is 1.45%. In other words, 1.45% (or 1 in 69) of all those infected with the disease (not just those with symptoms or those that have received positive test results) do not survive. As expected, fatality risk significantly increases with age.
The IFR is different than the case-fatality rate, which considers only confirmed cases in the calculation. When including only those that test positive, the mortality rate appears much higher. For example, Pennsylvania’s current case-fatality rate is about 7.25% (6904 total deaths/95,266 total cases reported as of 7/12/20). The IFR provides a more accurate measure since it estimates and takes into account all infections.
The following infographic shows the estimated IFR as calculated by epidemiologists at Columbia University.
It’s worth noting that death is not the only adverse outcome of the coronavirus. Many people – young and old alike – experience short and long-term health issues, the extent of which we are only just beginning to understand.
And yet, on the flip-side, a large portion of those infected have no symptoms at all. In fact, the CDC now estimates that 40% of all COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic. However, even without symptoms, COVID-19 can be easily transmitted to others.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to remember that our actions impact those around us. What we do today directly (and indirectly) affect our family, friends, neighbors, and even the community as a whole.
So stay smart. Wear those masks and maintain social distancing when possible.
And as always, stay safe and stay well~