COVID-19: How bad is it?

Posted: March 15, 2020 in COVID-19
Tags: , ,

Based on evaluation of 72,000 patients in China: 

  • “Mild” symptoms ~81%
    • “Mild” just means NOT HOSPITALIZED
    • People can still be very sick for up to 14 days
  • Serious illness: ~14%
    • Serious illness means requires hospitalization
    • Serious often occurs in the second week
    • Serious sometimes happens after initial improvement
  • Critically ill: ~5%
    • Criticallly ill requires intensive care, often on a ventilator
  • Fatality rate: ~2.3%
    • < 1% below age 70
    • 8% between age 70 and 79
    • 14.8% if age 80 or above

This doesn’t seem very bad on first review, but there are two very scary things about COVID-19:

1) High need for hospitalization – much higher than most viruses

  • Almost 20% of COVID-19 patients need hospitalization
    • Compare to seasonal flu which hospitalizes ~1% of patients
  • One quarter of these need intensive care and ventilators to survive

2) Rapid increase in case numbers

Days into clusterNumber of cases
11
30100
451,000
608,000
7565,000
90500,000
Growth of COVID-19 from a single case

 

  • COVID-19 shows exponential growth:
    • Start low, grow slow, then increase rapidly
    • Cases double roughly every 5 days (without social distancing)

 

Imagine just 1% of the United States with COVID-19 = 3.27 million cases

  • If 5% get critically ill (same as China) = 163,500 people require intensive care
  • United States intensive care beds = 94,000
    • Nearly half are already occupied with heart attack, pneumonia, trauma, etc.
  • If COVID-19 cases fill the remaining beds:
    • Seriously ill and critically ill patients COVID-19 cases will not receive care.
    • People who need hospital care for other reasons will also be turned away.
      • Heart attacks, pneumonia, stroke, car accidents, trauma
    • Care will happen at home, in hospital hallways, in tents, in sports arenas…
    • People will suffer (and perhaps die) without medication, oxygen, or nursing
    • Fatality rates from COVID-19 will increase significantly above 2.3%
    • Fatality from other treatable illnesses will also increase

WHERE IS YOUR COMMUNITY AT NOW?

WHERE WILL IT BE IN TWO WEEKS?

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