Why We Don’t Know True Death Rate for COVID-19

Determining what percentage of those infected by the coronavirus will die is a key question for epidemiologists, but an elusive one during the pandemic.

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A funeral director at a hospital in Brooklyn last week. Refrigerated trucks served as makeshift morgues to accommodate the number of people dying of the coronavirus.Credit...Andrew Seng for The New York Times

“To know the fatality rate you need to know how many people are infected and how many people died from the disease,” said Ali H. Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. “We know how many people are dying, but we don’t know how many people are infected.”


NY Times: Coroners in some parts of the country are overwhelmed. Funeral homes in coronavirus hot spots can barely keep up. Newspaper obituary pages in hard-hit areas go on and on. Covid-19 is on track to kill far more people in the United States this year than the seasonal flu.

But determining just how deadly the new coronavirus will be is a key question facing epidemiologists, who expect resurgent waves of infection that could last into 2022.

As the virus spread across the world in late February and March, the projection circulated by infectious disease experts of how many infected people would die seemed plenty direaround 1 percent, or 10 times the rate of a typical flu.

But according to various unofficial Covid-19 trackers that calculate the death rate by dividing total deaths by the number of known cases, about 6.4 percent of people infected with the virus have now died worldwide.  read more, no pay wall:

Source: NY Times

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