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Calculation of Coronavirus mortality rates shows higher fatality than SARS – Lancet report

THE CORONAVIRUS mortality rate may be underestimated and the potential threat for symptomatic patients could be a lot greater, according to a new Lancet report.

In a report published by The Lancet Infectious Deiseases journal, entitled, Real estimates of mortality following Covid-19 infection, the researchers point to a discrepancy in the way death rates were calculated, suggesting that the actual figure could be much higher.

The report suggests the “mortality rate estimates are based
on the number of deaths relative to the number of confirmed cases of
infection, which is not representative of the actual death rate”.

The document added: “As of March 1, 2020, 79 968 patients
in China and 7169 outside of China had tested positive for coronavirus
disease 2019, COVID-19.”

Among the Chinese patients, 2873 deaths had occurred, equivalent to a mortality rate of 3.6 percent, while 104 deaths from COVID-19 had been reported outside of China, or 1.5 percent”

The document suggested that this is not representative of the actual death-rate because of a lag between first infection and actual death from the disease.

The Lancet report stated that the time between symptom onset and death ranged from about 2 weeks to 8 weeks.

So given this lag between the time of infection and symptom onset, then symptom onset and actual death, the researchers in the Lancet report re-estimated the death rate.

The researchers described how they did this: “We re-estimated mortality rates by dividing the number of deaths on a given day by the number of patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection 14 days before.

“On this basis, using WHO data on the cumulative number of deaths to March 1, 2020, mortality rates would be 5.6 percent for China and 15.2 percent outside of China.”

In comparison, according to the World Health Organisation, the mortality rate for SARS was 11 percent, this was recorded at the end of the outbreak

The scientists who authored the paper suggested that death rates increase when adjusted for the time delay between onset of symptoms and time of death.

The Lancet article concluded by stating: “A recent time-delay adjusted estimation indicates that mortality rate of COVID-19 could be as high as 20 percent in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.”

In Wuhan the virus first made the jump from animal to human in November 2019, research has so far discovered.

Governments are meant to report any new virus to the World Health Organisation, WHO, within 24 hours, instead they waited two months before informing the WHO.

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