Weekly Wonder: Fears of contracting Coronavirus may be high, but fatality rates remain low.

By Alex Hemmer
BU News Service

BOSTON –– The number of confirmed Coronavirus cases has increased significantly since it first broke out in December, causing widespread fear around the world. Yet, as more people have turned to greater sanitation practices out of panic, it may also be worth noting the percentage of fatal cases per affected country has been relatively low.

China, despite reporting a total of 80,426 cases by Thursday, has also reported 52,340 confirmed recoveries – over 50% – notably outweighing its 3,013 cases that have led to fatalities. Similarly, the 203 cases to have hit the United States have resulted in 12 deaths.

Additionally, data from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that the fatality rate is much higher for those aged 80 and above, suggesting that the severity of Coronavirus symptoms may vary by demographics.

Though the low numbers may serve as a relief to some, they cannot account for the public’s level of urgency toward the virus. According to the World Health Organization, it still poses a higher threat than the flu and should still be contained as much as possible.

As the number of cases is likely to continue growing, the Center for Disease Control reminds the public to uphold its recommended standards of preventative hygiene, including frequent handwashing, staying home when sick and discarding dirty tissues after use.

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