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Coronavirus Closer to Influenza, Lower than SARS

Is the death rate of new coronavirus infection closer to influenza and far lower than SARS?

Anthony Fauci, the former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and the current director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and an international expert on infectious diseases, said on the US public broadcaster ’s program:

“It (New Crown Virus) It looks more like a severe flu than a disease similar to SARS. "


To curb the new coronavirus, we must first understand the extent of its spread. A key question is: Can an infected person without symptoms be able to infect others?


Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University, said: "If there are many people (with mild disease or asymptomatic) who do not seek medical services for respiratory diseases but are still infectious It will be tricky. "


The two previous fatal coronavirus outbreaks, SARS and MERS, only spread from people who showed symptoms

But Sharman has studied other common coronaviruses, especially the other four coronaviruses, which usually do not cause more severe colds. He found that even without any symptoms, many people were infected with these viruses.


Sharman said that his research found that coronavirus was found in the nasal cavity of people without any symptoms. "When they talk, breathe, cough, sneeze and rub their noses, the coronavirus will spread out." Infecting others, we cannot tell from the work we do. "


Similarly, it is difficult to know what the New Corona virus is all about. On January 30, a German scientist reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that one of the asymptomatic visitors from China transmitted the disease to a colleague in Munich. However, as reported in Science, this conclusion is wrong. Because the woman actually did have symptoms at the time.


Dr. Anthony Fauci cited this case at a press conference at the White House last week announcing the isolation of passengers returning from China. He said that the mistake of the German scientist did not change his point of view.


The White House declared coronavirus a public health emergency and restricted travel to China.

Dr. Fauci says he has been discussing this issue with trusted Chinese counterparts, "They told me that there is indeed a certain degree of asymptomatic transmission."


Coronavirus Closer to Influenza but Lower than SARS

But he said that as far as the current situation is concerned, this does not explain the explosive spread of the disease in China. Because in the history of respiratory diseases "asymptomatic transmission has never been the main driver of the outbreak".

Even so, Maria van Kerkhove of the World Health Organization said the issue is still under scrutiny.


Not Completely Asymptomatic of Coronavirus

She said in a recent reporter briefing: "We learned from many experiences of other diseases that people who claim to be asymptomatic, when you go back to interview them again, they should have been in the early stages of actually showing symptoms." "So they are not completely asymptomatic."


The greater risk is likely to come from those with symptoms, but their condition is so mild that they do not have bed rest. The German man infected with the coronavirus from his Chinese colleague had a fever, but soon resumed his work and transmitted it to other colleagues.

This infection is similar to the flu. Fuch said: "It looks more like a severe flu than a SARS-like disease (It's looking more like a really bad influenza than it is a SARS-like disease)."


 Pneumonia caused by Coronavirus

Looking at the mortality rate of pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus macroscopically, in Hubei and Wuhan (in the case of extremely tight medical resources), the mortality rate is relatively high (3.24-5.45%).

But the mortality rate is outside Hubei (active intervention) (Bottom) It is currently maintained at 0.18% (as shown below), which is a weak level among infectious diseases.

This means that for most healthy individuals, the risk of serious illness is low. However, if the new coronavirus is allowed to spread as widely as the flu, it will suddenly cause the medical system to strain or even collapse, and it will eventually kill a lot of life.


 Coronavirus relation with SARS Virus

Based on the available data, it is possible to draw a preliminary conclusion:

This time the new coronavirus is relatively spread, but the mortality rate is lower than SARS.

Many infected people have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, and most of the critical cases and deaths are elderly people and those with basic diseases.

These characteristics of the new coronavirus are similar to influenza, which is good news; but it is also a challenge, because those carriers with mild symptoms actually have a greater risk of transmitting it to others.

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