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Preliminary German Study Shows a COVID-19 Infection Fatality Rate of About 0.4 Percent

Discussion in 'News & Current Events' started by KenH, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    "Over the last two weeks, German virologists tested nearly 80 percent of the population of Gangelt for antibodies that indicate whether they'd been infected by the coronavirus. Around 15 percent had been infected, allowing them to calculate a COVID-19 infection fatality rate of about 0.37 percent. The researchers also concluded that people who recover from the infection are immune to reinfection, at least for a while.

    For comparison, the U.S. infection fatality rates for the 1957–58 flu epidemic was around 0.27 percent; for the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, it was about 2.6 percent. For seasonal flu, the rate typically averages around 0.1 percent. Basically, the German researchers found that the coronavirus kills about four times as many infected people than seasonal flu viruses do.

    The German researchers caution that it would be wrong to extrapolate these regional results to the whole country. But they also believe these findings show that lockdowns can begin to be lifted, as long as people maintain high levels of hygiene to keep COVID-19 under control."

    Preliminary German Study Shows a COVID-19 Infection Fatality Rate of About 0.4 Percent
     
  2. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it is widely known that if covid19 does not overwhelm your health systems, it’s CFR (case fatality rate) is around or under 1%. This number is still multiple factors of the influenza death rate but low on the overall scale of infectious diseases.

    The main problem with covid19 in not the CFR but how infectious it is (at least 2x influenza) and its hospitalization rate (around 20% of confirmed cases which is 20 times that of influenza) leading to health systems getting overrun. When that happens, the CFR goes up because the health system can no longer deliver basic care and many people die who would normally have survived.

    All the measures we are doing of shutdowns and social distancing (that Germany has done well and early) are to keep that initial wave of covid19 from overwhelming our health systems.
     
    #2 Gold Dragon, Apr 9, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
  3. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    No so sure about that. The vast German study shows an infection rate of 15% of the population. A typical, run-of-the-mill flu infection rate is around 11%, hardly "2x influenza".
     
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  4. Scott Downey

    Scott Downey Active Member

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    Germany is doing much better than the other European countries.
    115,000 infected
    52,000 recovered
    2451 dead

    Italy, Spain, French health care systems are way worse quality than the German system.
     
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  5. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    The number we use to measure infectivity is something called R0 or “R naught” which measures the number of cases that a single case of a disease infects on average.

    Each case of influenza infects 1.3 other people while each case of covid 19 infects at least 2.5 other people.


    The percentage of German population numbers are easily explained. The 11% number is for the whole population at the end of a flu season with no shutdowns or social distancing. The 15% number is in the middle of the covid19 epidemic after massive measures to control its spread. Apples to oranges.
     
  6. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    If by health care system you mean aggressive public health measures then you are correct.

    Because Germany was one of the most aggressive early countries in Europe in terms of testing and taking covid 19 seriously with good public health measures like isolation of cases, contact tracing and social distancing.

    Because the battle with covid19 is won or lost in the community, before cases hit your health system. If you lose the community battle, there is no health system in the world that can deal with the wave after wave of cases you see from the infectivity and hospitalization rate of covid19 if you just let it run its course.
     
  7. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    Obviously, we disagree on the conclusions. I'm just looking at what percentage of the population is being infected by two diseases, regardless of how many other people - whole or fractional - each infected person might pass it along to. The total number is what matters to me and, I think, to most people.
     
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  8. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    When influenza gets really bad in a community, schools are closed down. Plus a lot of people get flu shots, which only reduces the chances of getting the flu by around 60% and also helps to limit its impact if one still gets it. I would expect that a COVID-19 vaccine would end up being similar. I don't think we go back to a time when there are no new COVID-19 cases and no additional deaths, anymore than we have gotten rid of the flu. I think the idea that we have to go back to that situation before we can open the economy back up or go back to being the social beings that God created us to be is pure fantasy.
     
  9. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    Then you should compare that 11% number to the percentage of the population at the end of the outbreak for a country that takes no special measures like lockdowns to control spread. This Australian government model estimated 90% of the population would have been infected if no measures were taken. Scroll down to the bottom of the report.

    https://www.health.gov.au/sites/def...-health-system-can-respond-summary-report.pdf
     
    #9 Gold Dragon, Apr 9, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
  10. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    I agree with your approach going forward. You cannot wait until the cases are zero and that should not be the goal. It should be to get the case load to a level that public health measures and partial lockdowns can keep the infectivity at a level the health system can sustain. The whole Hammer and Dance model I showed you.

    But if you don’t respect the seriousness of covid19 and try to say it is just the flu and lift things too early, all the benefits of this lockdown period will have been lost and your health system will get overwhelmed all over again.
     
  11. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    Over time just about every U.S. adult gets the flu, maybe multiple times in his lifetime. No reason not to expect the same to be true with COVID-19. Like I said, I don't expect us to go back to a time when COVID-19 was non-existent.
     
  12. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    As far as I am aware, the only places that are being overwhelmed are high density population centers. This a huge country and our lifestyles are vastly different in the various areas of the country. We like to talk about being one nation(as in the Pledge of Allegiance) but the United States is really a confederation. In fact, our first written constitution before our present one was adopted was called The Articles of Confederation.
     
  13. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    Can influenza infect 90% of the Australian population in 7 months? That is the time frames the model is projecting with uncontrolled spread. Sure if you give influenza a few decades, it will get there.
     
  14. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    In the U.S., influenza infects 5-20% of the population each year. Using the midpoint - 12.5% - would mean that statistically every 8 years every person in the U.S. gets influenza.
     
  15. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    Still a lot more than 7 months. And a lot of those people catch the flu in multiple years. So it is not an easy summation. So more like a decade.
     
  16. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    I would describe it as non-immune hosts are the fuel, population movement is the oxygen and population density is the accelerant. Less dense area are afforded some protection right now from lockdowns. But once movement happens again, it will spread. And less dense areas have much lower health care capacity and will be overwhelmed quicker once it hits their region.
     
  17. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    Maybe not. Lower density areas have more access to fresh air and better lifestyles - unless one wants to spend most of his spare time in bars and fancy restaurants and large gatherings such as concerts like they do in metropolitan areas.
     
    #17 KenH, Apr 9, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
  18. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    This is not my experience. In Australia at least, I have worked in both rural and urban medicine. The rate and severity of chronic disease is much greater rurally because of lower socioeconomic conditions and access to health services.

    this appears to be the case in the USA as well

    Chronic Disease in Rural America Introduction - Rural Health Information Hub
     
  19. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    Which, I think you will agree, will become worse the longer the economy is shut down. Health care costs money.
     
  20. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    Yes it will get worse. But even worse than job losses and poverty is death to the people who can help turn those things around.
     
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