03 Apr 2020
3 min read
COVID-19 Fatality Rate (3rd April 2020)
Updated: Apr 6
COVID-19 is a virus affecting countries all over the world and undoubtedly your timelines are flooded with information on ways to prevent the spread of and contracting the virus. We will not repeat these facts and figures but do advise that you follow the guidelines from the relevant medical and government authorities.
Many countries have implemented varying levels of ‘social distancing’ measures and strict priority rules for masks, ventilators, tests and other essential materials that are in limited supply. All these interventions, however, do have quite different levels of impact.
Here we will take a look at the differences in mortality rates and the significant factors that will require the most attention.
Mortality rates vary from country to country
The mortality rate is a direct result of several factors including the efficiency of the national healthcare system, the spread of the virus over time amongst the population, population demographic distributions(age-group) and the prevalence of pre-existing conditions within each age-group.
Today’s mortality rates are estimated to be around 4.6% for China, 1.2% for South Korea, 8.6% in Italy and 1% in the US. (1)
To give you an idea of the magnitude of these rates, looking at the US flu statistics, these mortality figures range between 12 to 24 times higher than the usual seasonal flu rates. (2)
Mortality rates are positively correlated to age
We looked at the mortality rate for COVID-19 in relation to age group to get some insight, and found the correlation between mortality and age for all countries in our analysis to be quite significant. Fatalities are seen to increase monotonically with age with most occurring in the 60+ years age-group. (3)
Mortality rates are aggravated by pre-existing conditions
In a recent study on the Italian COVID-19 cases (4), 99% of their fatalities had pre-existing conditions, with high blood pressure reported in 76% of the cases.
Cardiovascular conditions were the most commonly occurring and mental disorders the least, with 48.5% of fatalities having at least three pre-existing conditions (4):
In China, the following pre-existing conditions were identified as very high factors of vulnerability for individuals(5):
● Cardiovascular diseases
● Chronic respiratory diseases
Why HealthyHealth is gathering this type of data?
HealthyHealth specialises in evaluating the risk to be diagnosed for hundreds of medical conditions and the mortality likelihood for most medical conditions. Our model is based on wearable trackers, mobile phone data and national health statistics.
We must understand who are the most vulnerable individuals amongst us to suffer from COVID-19. This will allow us to prioritise the resources needed to limit the virus’ impact.
HealthyHealth offers support for the community by tracking COVID-19’s fatality rates and related factors to help prevent any further fatalities.
What can you do to help?
If you would like to contribute towards our efforts and have read the latest studies, reports and information on COVID-19, please add more sources and reports in the comments below in order for us to keep up to date on this valuable information.
1 - Fatality per country: Report from Mc Kinsey Covid 19 Update 20 of March. Case Fatality calculated as ( total deaths) / (total cases) – this rate is evolving and dependent upon several factors, including number of suspected cases that are tested. For the US, WHO data is lagging news reports for the US; In the US, CDC & WHO reports. https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/business
2 - Comparison with the flu. « Case fatality rates: COVID-19 vs. US seasonal flu ». https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus#how-do-case-fatality-rates-from-covid-19-compare-to-those-of-the-seasonal-flu
3 - Fatality per age group: Report from Mc Kinsey Covid 19 Update 20 of March. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/risk/our-insights/covid-19-implications-for-business
4 - Coronavirus: early-stage case fatality rates by underlying health condition in Italy. https://www.epicentro.iss.it/coronavirus/bollettino/Report-COVID-2019_17_marzo-v2.pdf
5 - Coronavirus: Case fatality rate of COVID-19 by preexisting health conditions.https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus#case-fatality-rate-of-covid-19-by-preexisting-health-conditions