Coronavirus put into Context to other Killers – Mortality Rate, Risk of Transmission

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Ongoing other Killers:

Malaria: Nearly half the world’s population lives in areas at risk of malaria transmission in 91 countries and territories. In 2016, malaria caused an estimated 216 million clinical episodes, and 445,000 deaths (0.2% Mortality vs clinical episodes) or 1,219 deaths per day . An estimated 90% of deaths in 2016 were in the WHO African Region.

Drug-resistant diseases: Currently, at least 700,000 people die each year, or 1,917 per day, due to drug-resistant diseases, including 230,000 people who die from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. (0.009% Mortality vs World Pop)

Cholera: 499,447 cases of cholera and 2,990 deaths (0.6% Mortality) in 2018, or 6 deaths per day, according to reports from 34 countries. While outbreaks are still ongoing in various countries, the case load represents a significant downward trend in cholera transmission that has continued into 2019, according to data collected by WHO.

Air Pollution: air pollution has been declared a public health priority by WHO: largely caused by the same burning of fossil fuels that is driving climate change, polluted air is poisoning nine out of ten of us and killing over seven million of us prematurely every year, or 19,178 deaths per day. Children are especially vulnerable: 600,000 children die prematurely every year, or 1,643 deaths per day, from air pollution related diseases.

Flu: the US had about 350,000 hospitalizations and 35,000 deaths from influenza in 2019s flu season (cdc preliminary estimates). CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9 million – 45 million illnesses, between 140,000 – 810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually since 2010.

History:

Spanish Flu: The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the deadliest in history, infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the planet’s population—and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims, or over 54,794 deaths per day during a year, including some 675,000 Americans.

New:

Coronavirus: The mortality rate from the Wuhan virus is tracking at roughly 3%. Many patients who have died were over 60 years old, had other illnesses such as diabetes and were admitted to hospitals when their illness was advanced. (26JAN2020: Mortality rate 2.8% [56/2000], 29JAN2020: 2.2% [132/6062])

WHO update: Chinese authorities presented new epidemiological information that revealed an increase in the number of cases, of suspected cases, of affected provinces, and the proportion of deaths in currently reported cases of 4% (17 of 557). They reported fourth-generation cases in Wuhan and second-generation cases outside Wuhan, as well as some clusters outside Hubei province. They explained that strong containment measures (closure of public-transportation systems are in place in Wuhan City, as well as other nearby cities). After this presentation, the EC was informed about the evolution in Japan, Republic of Korea, and Thailand, and that one new possible case had been identified in Singapore.

25JAN2020: Beijing now has five confirmed cases of coronavirus, but two of those had no connection with the province of Hubei. This appears to be the first time the virus has spread without having a direct link to Hubei, indicating that the virus is now being transmitted person-to-person within the capital.

26JAN2020: The financial hub of Shanghai, which has extensive international air connections, reported its first death: that of an 88-year-old man who already had health problems.

29JAN2020: Officially only the 16 cities in Hubei have imposed travel restrictions, but empty streets are now common in most of China’s 700 cities and 20,000 towns, with few municipal authorities able to afford to appear neglectful in the eyes of local residents or the central government. Small-scale road blockades have mushroomed across the country, with urban communities closing gates and rural villages banning entry to non-residents. China’s Ministry of Public Security issued a notice reminding people it was illegal to block public roads without proper authorisation.

Context to World Population

World Population Clock: 7.8 Billion People (2020). Population in the world is currently (2020) growing at a rate of around 1.05% per year (down from 1.08% in 2019, 1.10% in 2018, and 1.12% in 2017).

Conclusion:

Assuming every person on the planet got the disease, there would be 234 million deaths (3% of 7.8bn). By 2024 the deaths would be compensated by new births, based on the current growth rate of the world population. However consider the Spanish Flu “only” affected ~33% of the world population, the worst case would be 78 million deaths, which is lower than the population growth of 2020. So the net effect on the population for 2020 would be zero, in a close to worst case scenario. Also keep in mind the coronaviruses SARS and MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) killed 10% and 36% of the people they infected, respectively. Note that the spread and mortality at the moment does not even come close to other killers like Malaria, Drug-resistant Diseases and Air Pollution.

Regarding Air Travel, which has become so important and widespread: WHO stated China should conduct exit screening at international airports and ports in the affected provinces, with the aim of early detection of symptomatic travelers for further evaluation and treatment, while minimizing interference with international traffic. The mentioned interference with international traffic is an area to watch for impact on international trade and businesses.

29JAN2020: The rapid spread of the deadly coronavirus through China could sharply curtail Beijing’s ability to meet the purchasing agreement elements of the trade deal struck with the United States earlier this month, analysts said.As part of the phase one deal signed on January 15, China is obliged to buy US$200 billion in additional US imports over two years on top of pre-trade war purchase levels.

28JAN2020: Zhong Nanshan, a respiratory expert and head of a national panel set up to deal with the crisis, said that the outbreak might peak in the next week or 10 days and that the fatality rate was expected to fall.

28JAN2020: Yuen, chair of infectious diseases at the University of Hong Kong, revealed that his team was working on the vaccine and had isolated the previously unknown virus from the city’s first imported case. “We have already produced the vaccine, but it will take a long time to test on animals,” Yuen said, without giving a specific time frame on when it would be ready for patients. But he said it would take months to test the vaccine on animals and at least another year to conduct clinical trials on humans before it was fit for use.

Trickle-down effect of Corona

28JAN2020: Apple, which reports fourth-quarter results after Tuesday’s U.S. market close, has booked orders for up to 65 million of its older iPhones, mostly from the iPhone 11 series, and up to 15 million units of a new cut-price model that it plans to unveil in March. Apple ordered 73 million iPhones over the same period last year, according to GF Securities data. “This year is much busier than last year,” an industry source said. However, suppliers warned that the blistering pace of production could be complicated by the outbreak of the coronavirus in China’s Hubei Province, given that their main manufacturing centers are in nearby Henan and Guangdong provinces, which had more than 100 confirmed cases as of Monday afternoon, and in Shanghai, with over 50 confirmed cases. “The [coronavirus] situation in China could affect the planned production schedule,” one supply chain executive, whose trip to China has been postponed due to the virus, told Nikkei.

26JAN2020: Thriller Aspect (from the Fox News Comment Section, i.e. chosen for entertainment value) : Coronavirus happened because Chinese agents stole the virus from a level 4 infectious disease laboratory in Canada and shipped it to China for use in development of biological weapons. Novel Coronavirus is one of at least 5 viruses stolen. The facility in China that the viruses was shipped to Wuhan Institute of Virology is 20 kilometers south of the Huanan Seafood market. The Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory is housed at the Chinese military facility Wuhan Institute of Virology linked to China’s Biological Warfare Program. Arrests have already been made.

Wuhan Institute of Virology was the first ever lab in the country designed to meet biosafetey-level-4 (BSL-4) standards – the highest biohazard level, meaning that it would be qualified to handle the most dangerous pathogens. BSL-4 labs have to be equipped with airtight hazmat suits or special ‘cabinet’ work spaces that confine viruses and bacteria that can be transmitted through the air to sealed boxes that scientists reach into using attached high-grade gloves. There are about 54 BSL-4 labs worldwide.

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