Projecting the Global Death Rate of the COVID-19 Virus

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Projecting the Global Death Rate of the COVID-19 Virus

Projecting the Global Death Rate of the COVID-19 Virus

Statistically the COVID-19 coronavirus fatality rate hovers around 2.2% which is near equal to the seasonal flu and some common colds.  In comparison to other diseases such including SARS and MERS, both of which as you now know are from the same family as the COVID-19 variation, its fatality rate is far lower.    MER’s for example had a 34.4 fatality rate and SARS had a 11% death rate.   So why then is the World Health Organization and Governments around the world so concerned about this new outbreak?

With MERS and SARS, health officials were able to get out in front of the spread of the virus before it go to what is called a pandemic status.  Part of the success of this was that the infection rate – or RO which is often called the R-NAUGHT rate of the two viruses was much lower than their COVID-19.   MERS infection rate was around 1 which meant the for every 1 person that became infected, they would also infect 1 more person.  The SARS infection rate was below 1 in most regions.

The underlying threat of the COVID-19 virus is that it’s infection rate being as high as 4 and is extremely resilient in it’s ability to live on surfaces as well as to remain infectious in people who show no symptoms – and the apparent ability for a person to become infected a second time even though they have been declared infection free from their first infection.    All of these factors make this virus unique in its genetic makeup.

Because the COVID-19 virus is so aggressive in its spreading and transmission, health officials know through basic math that at a 2.2% to as high as 3.4 fatality rate – the amount of deaths this virus will be responsible for is going to be based on how fast the virus spreads and how many people get it before it can be eradicated.

Some initial estimates suggest that as many as 60% of the global population could become infected with the virus.  At 7.5 billion people, and a 60% infection rate, that would result in 4.5 billion people contracting the COVID-19.   With a fatality rate of 2.2%, that would result in 100 million people dying from the disease in as little as a 1 year period and closer to 175 million if the fatality rate increases to 3.4%.

The following table shows the mathematical calculations based on a 60% infection rate of each county’s population. 

CountyPopulation2.2% Fatality Rate3.4% Fatality Rate
United States330,390,029 4,361,1486739956
United Kingdom67,886,011896,9051,384,874

Statistical Fatality Rates are based on current data provided by the World Health Organization as of March 12th, 2020.


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