Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is more contagious than SARS or MERS

Posted: Advertisements,   : 2020-02-23 08:08:36 am
By: : Jean Claude NDAYISHIMIYE

A comprehensive study of more than 72,000 confirmed and suspected cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID19) by a group of experts at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (briefly as China CDC)  and published in the Chinese Journal of Epidemiology has revealed new information about the coronavirus disease 2019 deadly infection. China CDC study examined data from 72,314 patients, 44,672 of which were confirmed cases of the virus (61.8%), along with 10,567 clinically diagnosed cases1 (14.6%) and 16,186 suspected cases (22.4%). An additional 889 cases examined did not show any symptoms. China CDC study is the largest and most comprehensive examination of coronavirus cases so far.

Here are the main findings:

  • Some 80.9% of infections are classified as mild, 13.8% as severe and only 4.7% as critical.
  • The highest fatality rate is for people aged 80 and older, at 14.8%.
  • Patients with cardiovascular disease are most likely to die of complications from COVID19, followed by patients with diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and hypertension.
  • There were no deaths among children aged up to 9, despite at least two cases of newborn babies infected through their mothers.
  • Up to age 39, the death rate remains low at 0.2%.
  • The fatality rate increases gradually with age. For people in their 40s it is 0.4%, in their 50s it is 1.3%, in their 60s it is 3.6 % and their 70s it is 8.0%.
  • Men are more likely to die (2.8%) than women (1.7 %).
  • The overall death rate from the virus stood at 2.3%.
  • The novel coronavirus is more contagious than the related viruses which cause the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

1Clinically diagnosed cases: Patients who demonstrate all the symptoms of COVID‒19 but have either not      been able to get a test or are believed to have falsely tested negative.



Special Expert Group for Control of the Epidemic of Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia of the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association, 2020. An update on the epidemiological characteristics of novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID‒19). Chin. J. Epidemiol. 42, 139‒144.


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