Coronavirus: Latest Stats
In pursuit of objective information. COVID-19 stats as of March 9th 2020.
Coronavirus is essentially a harsh version of the flu.
Media attention on it has been the widest and and most globally reaching in recent history and social media has picked it up in a huge way (sorry to state the obvious). This combination has led to scaremongering, panic, misinformation and some overreaction.
For example, I still don’t understand why there are no more toilet rolls on supermarket shelves. Coronavirus doesn’t make you sh*t yourself uncontrollably.
So, here are some of the latest stats and figures (figures correct as of 9th March 2020).
All graphs and visual representations are from informationisbeautiful.net (the website is also beautiful).
Firstly, it’s not as deadly as it’s sometimes made out to be in the news and social media.
The majority of cases are not serious.
Over 80% of infected patients are mild and just under 5% are critical.
This data comes from China as this is where it originated and where most people are infected. It should also be noted lung health is generally lower in China due to high air pollution levels and some of the highest rates of smoking in the world.
The older generations are most at risk of death
Those aged 80 and over are most at risk.
Coronavirus affects the respiratory tract, those with poorer or detiorated lung health are more likely to be affected.
The majority of infected people recover
Coronavirus so far has taken 3.5% of cases. Flu kills on average less than 1% of sufferers, so whereas the vast majority of coronavirus cases are not deadly, the fatality rate is significantly higher than the flu.
Those with already existing medical conditions are at higher risk
The people who have died from the coronavirus were either older, more vulnerable health-wise, had already existing medical conditions or, in most, cases, a combination of the three.
It’s been mentioned in the media 6x more than all other disease epidemics combined
It was also mentioned 6.7 million times in one day on social media.
It’s the first case of a disease/health-scare to take hold of social media which has fuelled health-related misinformation which social media channels have been trying to control the proliferation of.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) have dubbed the phenomenon an ‘infodemic’ and stressed the importance of accurate information and removal of misinformation from social channels that has created a high level of uncertainty regarding facts and an environment of anxiety and panic. Especially since this particular form of misinformation deals with health.
How To Minimise Risk
Even if you’re not in the demographic of those most vulnerable to the virus, you don’t want to catch it and pass it on to someone who is.
Symptoms include fever, dry cough, fatigue and shortness of breath. The incubation period is thought to be 5 days. For most the symptoms will end there. More serious cases can develop into pneumonia. If you have any of the symptoms seek medical advice as early as possible.
The WHO’s safety guidelines are quite simple:
- Wash your hands frequently (you detty pig)
- Maintain distance of a metre in social situations if someone is coughing or sneezing (the virus is thought to spread through airborne water droplets)
- Avoid touching your face, nose or mouth before you’ve washed your hands
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with the inside of your elbow.
- If you experience the symptoms: dry cough, fever or shortness of breath, seek medical advice early.
Pretty simple stuff, not too taxing. If you’ve visited a COVID-19 country recently you can find information on the WHO website of best practices.
Interestingly, because of the factories and shops being closed in areas of China where the virus has spread, and also the lack of cars on the road, air quality in China has significantly increased.
That and also I now see people washing their hands as many times a day as I already do. I suppose every cloud has silver lining.
Stay safe, stay rational and please tell anyone who feels the need to bulk buy toilet paper that COVID-19 wont make them uncontrollably sh*t themselves.