A newly identified coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (formerly 2019-nCoV) has been spreading in China, and has now reached multiple other countries. Here’s what you would like to understand about the virus and therefore the disease it causes, called COVID-19.
Update on Thursday, Feb. 20 (ET):
—American passengers stuck on a cruise liner off Japan for nearly fortnight were evacuated on Sunday (Feb. 16) and have now arrived within the U.S. Eighteen tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the entire number of U.S. cases to 34.
—Director of hospital in Wuhan has died from COVID-19. About 1,716 medical workers have COVID-19 (1,502 of these cases in Hubei Province), and 6 of those workers have died, the days reports.
—The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting COVID-19 is up to twenty times more deadly than the flu, with a deathrate of about 2.3% (in the U.S., seasonal flu’s deathrate is about 0.1%), the days reports.
—About 76,775 confirmed coronavirus cases (primarily in mainland China), consistent with the Johns Hopkins virus dashboard.
—More than 600 individuals onboard the Diamond Princess cruise liner off Japan tested positive for the coronavirus. there have been 3,700 passengers and crew on the ship when it first docked off Japan.
—11 deaths are linked to the virus outside of China so far , including in Taiwan, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea , Hong Kong, Iran, France and two Diamond Princess passengers.
—The WHO has now replaced the temporary name for the disease with a politician name: Corona Virus Disease, abbreviated as COVID-19.
—The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses has named the virus “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2,” thanks to its genetic similarity to the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
What’s the death rate from COVID-19?
The largest study on COVID-19 cases so far provides new details on the severity of the illness, including its death rate and who is most susceptible.
The study researchers, from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, analyzed information from 44,672 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in China that were reported between Dec. 31, 2019 and Feb. 11, 2020. Among these cases, there have been 1,023 deaths, leading to an overall death rate of two .3%.
That’s much above the death rate of flu, which is around 0.1% within the U.S., consistent with The ny Times.
However, the new study found that the death rate from COVID-19 varied by location. In Hubei Province, where the outbreak began, the death rate was 2.9%, compared with just 0.4% in other provinces — a 7-fold difference.
The study also showed that older adults are hit hardest by COVID-19. Among those ages 80 and older, the death rate was 14.8%, compared with 8.0% for those ages 70 to 79; 3.6% for those ages 60 to 69; 1.3% for those ages 50 to 59; 0.4% for those ages 40 to 49, and 0.2% for those ages 10 to 39. No deaths are reported among children from birth to age 9.
However, some experts have estimated that the amount of COVID-19 cases might be much above what has been officially tracked and reported, consistent with the BBC. If that is the case, then the death rate might be less than what’s reported during this study.
Why did coronavirus cases spike?
On Feb. 12, the Hubei Province, where the outbreak began in Wuhan, officials have decided to think about a “clinical” diagnosis for the new coronavirus. meaning these individuals who may have tested negative on the present diagnostic assay (called a macromolecule test) but show all of the coronavirus symptoms are going to be classified as confirmed cases. therein way, the Hubei Province Health Committee said, “patients can receive standardized treatment consistent with confirmed cases as early as possible to further improve the success rate of treatment.”
With that new criteria, the province added 14,840 cases of coronavirus to the entire during a day.
Will the coronavirus die down by the summer?
We don’t know yet. Most respiratory viruses, like flu viruses, are seasonal. We generally know when the height of flu season are going to be and may expect the amount of flu cases to sink as we head toward spring and summer, said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases during a press conference on Feb. 12. except for the new virus, “I think it’s premature to assume that,” she said. If this new virus behaves similarly to flu viruses, we may even see less infections as spring and summer come around . “But this is often a replacement disease, we’ve not even been through six weeks of it much less a year,” Messonnier said. Though hoping the numbers will go down as warm weather approaches, “the aggressive actions we’re taking are because we do not think we will calculate that.”
As of Feb. 18, there are 29 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus within the us . These include 14 people that were stuck on a cruise liner off the coast of Japan and arrived back within the U.S. on Feb. 16 and Feb. 17. Most of the infected passengers were taken to the University of Nebraska center in Omaha. the remainder of the evacuated passengers are under quarantine at military bases in California and Texas.
Other previously-identified cases of coronavirus within the U.S. include 8 cases in California, 2 cases in Illinois, and one case each in Washington, Arizona, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Texas.