Why do people think so, and is it really so? Indeed, for many, COVID-19 proceeds like a common cold, and for some, it is generally asymptomatic. But, unfortunately, “for many” does not mean that “for all”, and no one can ever know in advance how their body will react to this insidious virus.
When the pandemic began its march across the planet, the World Health Organization provided statistics, according to which, the number of patients in need of resuscitation reaches 20% of the total number of those infected. At the same time, 5 per cent require artificial ventilation of the lungs, and 15% require oxygen therapy (inhalation of air with an increased oxygen concentration) for a long time, at least several days.
After a while, statistics were collected on who exactly are most impacted by COVID-19. The risk group includes:
– People over 65. For example, in the United States, this age group accounts for 80% of deaths from coronavirus.
– Those who have any lung problems.
– Smokers and vapers.
– People who are obese.
– Those who have type 2 diabetes or diseases of the cardiovascular system, including hypertension.
– People with chronic liver or kidney disease.
– People with certain blood disorders.
– Cancer patients.
– People with weakened immune systems. For example, those with HIV, those who have recently undergone organ transplants or are taking immunosuppressive drugs.
In addition, complications occur due to the coronavirus infection. COVID-19 is known to seriously target various organs and tissues, including the immune system. It is still difficult to say much about all its consequences, but it is known that many of those who have been ill have them for a very long time.
And what do the statistics say about mortality from coronavirus and flu?
In early 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic was just beginning, experts estimated that the death rate from COVID-19 was approximately 3.4%.
By fall, the situation proved to be very complex. It turned out that in different countries, the mortality rate differs dramatically – from less than 0.1% to more than 25%. Scientists attribute this to the fact that the number of cases is estimated differently everywhere. In some locations, more tests are carried out and, as a result, more patients are identified, including those who are asymptomatic. Against this large background of infections, the number of deaths does not seem so high. On the other hand, in other countries, only those who have turned to doctors for help are checked – that is, people in whom COVID-19 has already taken a serious form. Naturally, mortality among critically ill patients is higher than among asymptomatic ones.
So, if today we try to find the arithmetic mean for all countries, then again we get the same figure – the mortality rate is about 3-4% of the total number of cases.
Is this a lot or a little? When it comes to human life, it is difficult to give a straightforward answer to such a question.
But one thing is clear: this is at least an order of magnitude higher than the death rate from influenza, with which they like to compare COVID-19.
According to statistics from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the average lethality of seasonal flu is no more than 0.13% in the most severe “flu” years. 3-4% is 30 times more.
However, the numbers may change. The WHO does not tire of repeating that it will be possible to more or less accurately assess mortality only after the pandemic is over. In addition, a huge number of asymptomatic carriers of the virus, the number of which scientists can only guess at, will play a role. And the exact percentage of those who had recovered could only be found if mass testing of citizens of every country in the world was carried out.
So, if we go back from statistics to reality, in the event of not only pandemics but also epidemics familiar to us, personal hygiene products and keeping distance can help protect ourselves from viruses.
Material prepared by RusRadio.lt