Monday, January 10, 2022

How Deadly is COVID-19?

 Johns Hopkins reports a U.S. case-fatality rate of 1.4%; 98.6% of people identified as having COVID-19 do not die.  I know some who do not die are still pretty miserable afterwards.  The CFR is now 1.3%; I suspect as omicron takes over, this will fall more.

What about people infected but asymptomatic?  

Findings  In this systematic review and meta-analysis of 95 unique studies with 29 776 306 individuals undergoing testing, the pooled percentage of asymptomatic infections was 0.25% among the tested population and 40.50% among the population with confirmed COVID-19.

If you are old or sick already, the case-fatality rate is much higher, but the level of panic is absurd.

In the two years 2020-21 we have had 835,302 deaths.  On Jan. 9, we had 332,421,069 people.  That is 251 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people over a bit less than two years, so call it 125 deaths per 100,000 people.  In 2016, we had about the same death rate from the top four causes of death. [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Compressed Mortality File 1999-2016 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released June 2017. Data are from the Compressed Mortality File 1999-2016 Series 20 No. 2U, 2016, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed at on Jan 10, 2022 11:49:29 PM]

I25.1 (Atherosclerotic heart disease)

C34.9 (Bronchus or lung, unspecified - Malignant neoplasms)

J44.9 (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, unspecified)

G30.9 (Alzheimer disease, unspecified)

The COVID-19 death rate is nothing to cough at but we should be just about as panicked by heart disease, lung cancer, COPD, and Alzheimer's.  Notice that the top three causes of death in 2016 are comorbid with smoking as well as COVID-19.  Until I see comparable panic about smoking's consequences, I cannot take the crisismongers very seriously.

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