- 0 New Coronavirus Infections in China on 3/19/2020
- 40 Million California Residents Ordered to Stay Home
- 20 Percent of Infected People Ages 20–44 Hospitalized
- 1 Confirmed Case Equals Five to 10 Undetected Cases
- 3 U.S. Coronavirus Death Projections: 19k, 52k, and 104k
- Men More at Risk Than Women
- 3 Months Into Outbreak Basic Data Still Unreliable
0 New Coronavirus Infections in China
Even as the novel coronavirus COVID-19 spreads across the globe, good news came out of China, where the outbreak began. On Thursday, March 19th, no new local infections were reported for the first time since the crisis began three months ago. The death toll in China was recently surpassed by Italy.
This important milestone is being seen as evidence that the Chinese government’s heavy-handed approach worked. 50 million people in China’s Hubei province have been in a tight lockdown since January.
40 Million California Residents Ordered to Stay Home
Shortly after leaders in Los Angeles County ordered residents to stay in their homes, California Governor Gavin Newsom placed similar restrictions across the state.
Travel is prohibited except for essential businesses like gas stations, pharmacies, and grocery stores. Businesses like bars, gyms, and theaters where large groups congregate have been ordered to close. Restaurants are allowed to remain open but may only take orders for takeout or delivery.
At the time of the announcement on Thursday, March 19th, 1,040 cases of the coronavirus had been confirmed in California along with 19 deaths. Those numbers are expected to climb as testing expands.
20 Percent of Infected People Ages 20–44 Hospitalized
It’s widely thought that the coronavirus poses little risk to young people, that the only reason people in their 20s and 30s should avoid infection is the risk of passing it along to higher risk groups, such as people with compromised immune systems and the elderly.
An analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Wednesday, March 18th contradicts that narrative. One-fifth, or 20 percent, of infected people between the ages of 20 to 44 have required hospitalization. 2 to 4 percent of these have required treatment in an intensive care unit.
A new analysis in China also found that while younger people were at a lower risk, 6 percent of pediatric cases were severe and even critical.
1 Confirmed Case Equals Five to 10 Undetected Cases
As testing ramps up across the United States and the number of cases increases, it’s worth noting that the number of confirmed cases does not equal the total number of people infected with the coronavirus.
On Monday, March 16th, scientists reported that for every one confirmed case there may be between five to 10 unconfirmed cases. Unconfirmed cases are usually those with mild or no symptoms. It’s estimated that those with mild or moderate symptoms are responsible for nearly 80 percent of new cases.
If these figures are correct, it means that although the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. stood at 16,000 as of Friday, March 20th, the real number of cases could be as high as 160,000.
3 U.S. Coronavirus Death Projections: 19k, 52k, and 104k
If you’ve been following the coronavirus pandemic, you’ve likely heard some scary numbers. Will tens of thousands of Americans die of coronavirus, which would be similar to a bad year of the flu? Or will it be hundreds of thousands?
A good way to figure out the potential death toll in the U.S. is by looking at the death rates in countries that were hit by the pandemic before us: South Korea, China, and Italy.
These three countries responded to the outbreak in different ways, and the death rate from the virus has varied as a result.
If the U.S. outbreak takes a similar course as it did in China, the total number of deaths could equal 52,000. If the outbreak continues in the U.S. as it did in South Korea, where the government acted decisively, we could see only 19,000 deaths, which would be less than a bad year of the flu. If the outbreak takes the same form as it did in Italy, we could see 104,000 deaths or more.
Men More at Risk Than Women
New research has shown that men are at greater risk of coronavirus than women. In Italy, 70 percent of those who died were men. In South Korea, the difference was less dramatic: 61 percent of confirmed infections were in women, but 54 percent of deaths were men.
3 Months Into Outbreak Basic Data Still Unreliable
The coronavirus statistics above are useful in understanding the scope and scale of the pandemic, but it’s worth noting that we still lack basic information about how many people have been infected with the disease and how many continue to be infected.
That’s because even three months after the outbreak began, most countries, the United States included, cannot test large numbers of people. Therefore, the number of cases in the general population is still a moving target.
That’s why it’s incredibly important to follow the guidelines issued by health and government officials. Stay home, avoid any unnecessary contact, and wash your hands!