Mortality Rate Placed At 3.4%, But Some Experts Say That’s A ‘Crudely Calculated’ Snapshot That Will Change
It's hard for WHO to get an official count on those infected--and thus the mortality rate associated with coronavirus--because the symptoms present as mild in so many patients. But experts are still working hard to figure out exactly how bad the outbreak will be in the end, with many guessing it will be less severe than the 1918 Spanish pandemic, but worse than the swine flu of recent years. Meanwhile, social media giants are attempting to wage a war against misinformation online and experts continue to warn against panic-buying medical supplies.
The New York Times:
Global Mortality Rate Reaches 3.4 Percent
The head of the World Health Organization said on Tuesday that the global mortality rate for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, was 3.4 percent. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the organization’s director general, said in a news conference in Geneva that Covid-19 is deadlier than the seasonal flu, but does not transmit as easily. “Globally, about 3.4 percent of reported Covid-19 cases have died,” said Dr. Tedros. “By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1 percent of those infected.” (3/3)
WHO: Coronavirus Death Rate Higher Than Initially Thought
World Health Organization (WHO) officials on Tuesday said the death rate from the novel coronavirus is higher than previously thought. "Globally, about 3.4 percent of reported COVID-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1 percent of those infected," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing. (Weixel, 3/3)
The Washington Post:
How Bad Will The Coronavirus Outbreak Get In The U.S.?
The spreading coronavirus is shaping up as a pandemic of potentially historic proportions, possibly on the scale of the global outbreak of influenza in 1957 but unlikely to be as catastrophic as the Spanish flu of 1918, according to projections by infectious disease experts who are still struggling to understand this novel pathogen. The many unknowns about the virus impede efforts to predict its trajectory. Modeling new diseases is inherently uncertain, and scientists have at times overestimated the severity of epidemics, including in 2009, when the H1N1 flu (or “swine flu”) turned out to be milder than expected, and in 2014, when the Ebola outbreak in West Africa killed far fewer people than projected early in that crisis. (Achenbach, Bernstein, Satija and Wan, 3/3)
Los Angeles Times:
How Bad Could This Coronavirus Outbreak Get?
The 1918 Spanish flu — the worst pandemic of the 20th century — is estimated to have killed at least 50 million people worldwide over the course of three years. That includes 675,000 in the U.S. Among those who were infected, the death rate was estimated to be greater than 2.5%. The most recent pandemic flu — caused by the H1N1 virus that emerged from pigs in 2009 — caused somewhere between 152,000 and 575,000 deaths around the world. An estimated 12,500 of those fatalities occurred in the U.S. during the first year of the outbreak; an estimated 60.8 million nationwide were infected. The new coronavirus could wind up somewhere in between, said Dr. Otto Yang, an infectious disease expert at UCLA. (Lin, 3/3)
'We Simply Do Not Understand Why': Coronavirus Is Sparing Children, Puzzling Experts
As the novel coronavirus spreads around the globe, sickening more than 90,000 people and killing about 3,000, doctors have noticed something curious: Very few children have been diagnosed with it. And of those who have, most have had mild cases.In China, where the outbreak started, children comprise just 2.4 percent of all reported cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, a World Health Organization-China Joint Mission report from last month found. Of those, only a sliver — 2.5 percent — experienced severe symptoms, and an even tinier proportion — 0.2 percent — became critically ill. Worldwide, there have been no deaths reported so far in young children. (Chuck, 3/3)
Dallas Morning News:
Is Hand Sanitizer The Best Way To Stop The Coronavirus?
Shoppers worried about the coronavirus have been sweeping stores clean of hand sanitizer, and the Purell panic has led to price-gouging on Amazon and other online retailers. But most stores are still well-stocked with soap, and health experts say it’s a better choice than the alcohol-based antiseptics. (Marfin and Keomoungkhoun, 3/3)
Des Moines Register:
Here's What You Can Do To Avoid Falling For Coronavirus Scams
Where there is fear, there are usually scammers ready to take advantage.In Michigan, pranksters sent out texts saying the coronavirus had reached a local elementary school and urged people with the virus to contact a hospital. Michigan has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.On Etsy, an e-commerce site used to market crafts and clothing, people have been selling counterfeit face masks to those scared of contracting COVID-19. Advocates for consumers warn Iowans to be wary of websites, emails, texts and social media posts using worries about the virus to take your money, sell bogus products or lure you into providing personal information. (Rood, 3/3)
When Explaining Coronavirus To Your Children, What's The Best Approach?
Concerns linked to the new coronavirus range from managing sick days to global financial markets, so it can be easy to overlook some of the most vulnerable among us: children. Young children, whose physical and emotional needs should be considered during such an outbreak, frequently catch colds -- as many as 10 per year before they turn 2 years old. Children tend to spend most of their time in school or in daycare, in close contact with other children, a fact that when considered alongside too-infrequent hand-washings after sneezes and coughs, well, it's no wonder they're so often sick. (Baldwin and Graber, 3/4)
Coronavirus Outbreak Preparation Proving Difficult For Providers
As the number of cases and deaths from the coronavirus continues to increase in the U.S., hospitals are finding it difficult to prepare. More than 100 cases have been confirmed as of Tuesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with six deaths reported in Washington state and 60 infections across 12 states. (Johnson, 3/3)
The Wall Street Journal:
Coronavirus Misinformation Lives Online, Despite Efforts To Stamp It Out
Facebook and other technology giants have vowed to fight misinformation related to the coronavirus epidemic on their platforms. Yet even as they remove fraudulent posts, listings and other content, conspiracy theories and false information continue to proliferate online. Facebook said it has tweaked search results for “coronavirus” to direct users toward recognized and authoritative medical sources. The company says it contracts people throughout the world to look at content and determine whether it is misleading, and that it is also removing misleading content flagged by major health organizations. (Herrera, 3/3)
Facebook To Give 'WHO As Many Free Ads As They Need' For Coronavirus Response
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pledged Tuesday that his company would help the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health agencies with free ads to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak. In a post Tuesday evening, Zuckerberg wrote that his company was "focused on making sure everyone can access credible and accurate information" amid fears of an outbreak worsening in the U.S. (Bowden, 3/3)
Got Coronavirus Anxiety? These 5 Tips Can Help Calm Your Fears
Anxiety thrives on uncertainty. And, as the coronavirus spreads, our unanswered questions can make us feel vulnerable or fearful. "Will it come to my community" or "Am I at risk?' "We've got national anxiety at the moment, a kind of shared stress, and we are all in a state of extreme uncertainty," says Catherine Belling, an associate professor at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, who studies the role of fear and anxiety in health care. (Aubrey, 3/3)
The New York Times:
What Are The Symptoms Of A Coronavirus Infection?
As the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, the news is coming at a fast and furious pace. But don’t let the volume send you into a panic about your health and that of your loved ones. “The mantra is, ‘keep calm and carry on,’” said Dr. Marguerite Neill, an infectious disease expert at Brown University. Here’s a list of frequently asked questions about the coronavirus outbreak and its symptoms. (3/3)
The Associated Press:
Face Mask Shortage Causes Governments To Step In To Help Medical Workers
Governments are taking emergency steps to ease shortages of face masks for front-line doctors and nurses dealing with the spread of the new coronavirus. The French government announced it would claim supplies of protective masks, while the United States relaxed rules on the kind of masks health-care workers can use. “We are concerned that countries’ abilities to respond are being compromised by the severe and increasing disruption to the global supply of personal protective equipment, caused by rising demand, hoarding and misuse,” said the World Health Organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “We can’t stop covid-19 without protecting our health workers.” (3/3)
Los Angeles Times:
Coronavirus Panic Buying Isn't Necessary, Experts Say
Charmin toilet paper out at Costco. Masks all gone at Walgreens. A run on bags of rice. Even reasonably priced hand sanitizer is seemingly sold out at the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon. Are Americans prudently preparing for a coronavirus pandemic by stocking up? Or is this irresponsible panic buying? (Lin, 3/3)
Los Angeles Times:
Coronavirus Prevention: 10 Songs For Hand Washing
As the coronavirus spreads throughout the country, health officials say handwashing is one of the best ways people can protect themselves. After using the bathroom, touching your face or sneezing and before eating, scrub with soap and water for 20 seconds — or about the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. (Monnier, 3/3)