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COVID-19: 'Wuhan death rate lower than prior estimates'

New study revises fatality risk of COVID-19 in Chinese city at center of global outbreak

Gamze Turkoglu Oguz  | 23.03.2020 - Update : 23.03.2020
COVID-19: 'Wuhan death rate lower than prior estimates'


A new study shows the coronavirus mortality rate in Wuhan, China, may have been lower than previous estimates.

According to research published in the monthly Nature Medicine journal, the death rate from the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, in Wuhan -- the epicenter of the global outbreak -- was 1.4%.

“Using public and published information, we estimate that the overall symptomatic case fatality risk (the probability of dying after developing symptoms) of COVID-19 in Wuhan was 1.4%,” reads the body_abstract of the study.

The study -- titled “Estimating clinical severity of COVID-19 from the transmission dynamics in Wuhan, China” -- said the estimate was “substantially lower than both the corresponding crude or naive confirmed case fatality risk”.

Previous estimates placed the mortality rate in Wuhan between 2% to 3%.

Underlining that fatality risk was higher for the elderly, the study found 2.6% mortality rate among people over 60 years in Wuhan, 0.5% for people aged between 30 to 59, and 0.3% for people under 30 years.

The COVID-19 outbreak that started in Wuhan has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University shows the virus has now spread to 167 countries and regions.

Over 341,700 cases and 14,750 deaths have been reported worldwide since last December, while more than 98,860 people have recovered.

Transmission in China has slowed down over recent weeks, with authorities reporting no new indigenous cases on Monday.

There were also no new infections in Wuhan city for the fifth consecutive day, according to China’s National Health Commission.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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