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CDC says new coronavirus is even more dangerous than we thought

Published Feb 19th, 2020 2:36PM EST
coronavirus spread

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The Chinese coronavirus that has been spreading like wildlife in parts of the country and popping up elsewhere around the globe may be even more dangerous than we all already assumed. A new study by the Chinese CDC says that the virus is actually more contagious than similar viruses that have caused problems on a large scale in the past, including SARS.

This is particularly interesting because, thus far, the coronavirus that results in the disease Covid-19 is actually less deadly than many of its peers. The death rate is significantly lower than that of SARS, but it being more infectious means more cases and, as a result, more deaths overall.

Thus far, around 45,000 confirmed cases of the new viral infection have been tallied, and approximately 1,023 of those individuals have died. That makes the mortality rate of Covid-19 around 2.3%, compared to the mortality rates of other outbreaks like SARS which were nearly 10%.

“My sense and the sense of many of my colleagues, is that the ultimate case fatality rate … is less than 2%,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases said in an interview with CNN. “What is likely not getting counted is a large number of people who are either asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic, so the denominator of your equation is likely much much larger.”

That, at least, is good news. However, the rapid rate at which the virus is spreading and the fact that it can hop from person to person even when an individual is not showing clear symptoms of being infected makes it a scary situation.