#120 Worrying about the Coronavirus

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This week has seen the first case of coronavirus identified in Sao paulo. The 61 year old man had recently returned from a business trip to Italy and is the first known case in Latin America.  Stock prices plunged in Brazil and Mexico amid fears that measures to slow the spread of the virus could cause delays in supply chains.

Health officials quickly rushed to trace the other passengers of the man’s flight from Italy and there are about 20 potential case with 12 having recently visited Italy.  There have been a growing number of cases in Italy but despite this, the upcoming European football championship there in June is planning to go ahead. As of yesterday, there were 81,397 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 2,770 deaths. 30,384 people have been confirmed to have recovered from the virus.

It is assumed that the virus spreads like other viruses via cough and sneeze droplets. These droplets can be inhaled or picked up through touch though there is uncertainty as to how long the virus can survive and whether it can be transmitted before symptoms develop.

Precautions for reducing the spread of the virus include washing hands, covering the mouth with a tissue or elbow when coughing or sneezing, wearing a face mask, seeking early medical help, avoiding contact with live animals in infected areas, avoiding under-cooked or raw meat and, if you have returned from in infected area, avoiding contact with people for 14 days.

At under 2%, the death rate for the virus is only slightly higher than influenza (1%), which kills around 400,000 people annually, and significantly lower than SARS (10%).

COVID-19 Fatality Rate by AGE:

AGE
DEATH RATE*
80+ years old
14.8%
70-79 years old
8.0%
60-69 years old
3.6%
50-59 years old
1.3%
40-49 years old
0.4%
30-39 years old
0.2%
20-29 years old
0.2%
10-19 years old
0.2%
0-9 years old
no fatalities

*Death Rate = (number of deaths / number of cases) = probability of dying if infected by the virus (%).

Of those infected by the virus, so far there have been no fatalities in the under 9 age range and out of those over 80, less than 15 out of every 100 have died. Those with no pre-existing conditions have a significantly lower chance of dying than those with.

PRE-EXISTING CONDITION
DEATH RATE*
Cardiovascular disease
10.5%
Diabetes
7.3%
Chronic respiratory disease
6.3%
Hypertension
6.0%
Cancer
5.6%
no pre-existing conditions
0.9%

*Death Rate = (number of deaths / number of cases) = probability of dying if infected by the virus (%).

We all love a good health scare and it certainly does the job of distracting me from my writing.

 

 

About M J Dees

M J Dees lives and works in Sao Paulo, Brazil with his wife, daughter and two cats. He has written three novels, Living with Saci, The Astonishing Anniversaries of James and David, Part One, and When The Well Runs Dry. He is currently editing the fourth and writing the fifth. You can sign up for more information on his book launches at http://eepurl.com/cTnAD5 and receive a free copy of Living With Saci.
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