The world’s newest Coronavirus scare may have infected 60,409 people globally, but the threat is literally being overdramatized by world media.
The newest global epidemic the 2019 novel Coronavirus originated in Wuhan and has claimed at least 1,370 lives. However, the virus isn’t half as deadly as the bygone Ebola, MERS or even SARS. Even if infected by the Coronavirus, with a 98% survival rate, chances are you won’t die.
Multiple media reports originating every day of increasing deaths have sent the globe into panic mode. The outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Unfortunately, the largest quarantine in history has failed to curtail the outbreak of the Coronavirus 2019-nCOV which has now spread to 27 countries. But latest estimates of the mortality rate of the Coronavirus epidemic and expert views opine that its more about caution than chaos.
A significantly low mortality rate
The SARS Coronavirus which originated from Bats in China infected 8,098 and killed 774 people reported in 17 countries. The mortality rate of SARS is around 10%. The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Coronavirus saw around 2000 cases of infection and killed 600 individuals with a fatality rate of around 30%. The most recent Ebola outbreak in Africa between 2014-2016 saw 28,616 infection cases and 11,310 fatalities.
However, while the cases of infected persons are high with the 2019-2020 Coronavirus outbreak, the mortality rate is low. As per epidemic specialist Dr Aileen Marty M.D., F.A.C.P., Professor of Infectious Diseases, FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, an individual infected by the 2019 novel Coronavirus has a “98% chance of not dying”.
Highly contagious but not necessarily fatal
As a thumb rule for diseases and illnesses spread by pathogens and microbes, the most lethal ones are least contagious and vice versa. Deaths in the case of the 2019 novel Coronavirus have been people with already weakened immunity. The Chinese National Health Commission notes that the majority of fatal cases were individuals of over 60 suffering from pre-existing illnesses like diabetes and heart ailments.
However, the scientists around the world, in the marathon to find a cure for the virus, have warned that they are a long time away from it. While the virus originates in bats, it has infected humans via an intermediary animal. As per scientists, figuring out which one is crucial.
China has quarantined cities and imposed travel restrictions which have impacted a population of 170 million. Several countries have reported cases of Coronavirus and cut and exchanges with China. So, while there’s 98% chance you won’t die, you may catch the Coronavirus if an infected person sneezes or coughs within 3-6 feet. One should exercise caution and sanitize hands regularly. The virus can stay on the surface for hours after a person to person transmission.