How Dangerous Is Coronavirus?

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You’ve likely heard news reports about how dangerous coronavirus is, particularly the disease it causes, COVID-19. But let’s drill down, because numbers can give you an even clearer picture of the danger of the disease. 

How Data Makes a Difference

Epidemiologists and statisticians use data to track the course of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, and other communicable diseases and then project how quickly the disease is likely to spread. This data also gives the federal and state governments the information necessary to make public health recommendations to reduce the burden of the disease on the health care system. 

National and international coronavirus statistics are updated daily. Below is a snapshot of coronavirus by the numbers, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This data indicates how serious the situation is, and reiterates how important it is to keep yourself and your family safe.

The Global Impact of Coronavirus

Coronavirus has impacted almost every country in the world, according to the WHO situation reports on COVID-19 which are released every day during the pandemic. For a full list of situation reports, including past reports and today’s report, visit the WHO website

Countries Most Impacted by Coronavirus

In their situation report on April 12, the WHO explained that as of that date:

  • 83,482 is the total number of confirmed cases in China, where this coronavirus originated
  • 152,271 is the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Italy
  • 492,881 is the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S.
  • 70,029 is the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Iran

How Fast COVID-19 Spreads in Communities 

According to the WHO Director-General, the data that we have now show that coronavirus is spreading quickly. It took 67 days from the first reported case of coronavirus to reach the first 100,000 cases, and 11 days for coronavirus to reach 200,000 cases after the first 100,000 cases were reported.

Coronavirus Cases and Serious Illness

Reports from China to the CDC show that 16% of coronavirus cases result in serious illness. The good news is that most cases are mild. According to the CDC, most people with coronavirus can recover at home without seeking medical attention. 

Age Influences Risk of Serious Illness From COVID-19
Among the 4,226 cases of coronavirus reported to the CDC as of March 26, 2020, 80% of the patients who died from coronavirus were 65 years of age and older, and the CDC reports that the highest percentage of deaths were among adults 85 and older

It’s important to keep in mind that people of any age can get sick from coronavirus, typically if they’re immunocompromised or have a chronic medical condition. If you’re a parent or expecting a baby, these steps can help keep you and your family safe. 

People of Any Age Can Get Sick With COVID-19

COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, can infect people of all ages. For example, the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from March 26, 2020 reported the following figures. Among 508 patients in the U.S. known to have been hospitalized for coronavirus as noted in as of March 26, 2020:

  • 9% of patients were 85 years of age and older
  • 36% of patients were ages 65 to 84
  • 17% of patients were 55 to 64
  • 18% of patients were 45 to 54
  • 20% of patients were 20 to 44
  • Less than 1% of patients were 0 to 19 years old

Coronavirus vs. Seasonal Flu

While all attention is on COVID-19 at the moment, the seasonal flu is dangerous every year, especially for children and older adults. Consider this data:
 

  • 38 to 54 million flu illnesses is the CDC’s estimated number of cases in the U.S., in this flu season so far (October 2, 2019 to March 21, 2020)
  • 155 children have died from the flu so far this year 
  • 24,000 to 62,000 people have died from the flu in the U.S. this flu season

What Do the Numbers Tell Us About Coronavirus?

Pieces of data about coronavirus are valuable to understanding the pandemic puzzle. Together, they reveal an emerging picture: COVID-19 is a highly contagious and dangerous disease spreading quickly throughout the U.S. and the world. 

Like the flu virus, coronavirus can cause serious illness, especially in people age 65 and over, and in those with underlying medical conditions. 

But the story of coronavirus — as told through data — has just begun. According to the CDC, “In the coming months, most of the U.S. population will be exposed to this virus.”  

How to Keep Yourself and Your Family Safe From Coronavirus

To stay safe, take these seven steps recommended by the CDC to slow the spread of the disease as it becomes more widespread.

Stay Home
Stay home to reduce the chances of coming in contact with those who may be infected with COVID-19. You can still go for a walk around your neighborhood and stay in touch with friends and family by phone, video chat or social media. Limit your trips to the store by stocking up on groceries and medication. 

You’ll especially want to commit to staying home if you’re at higher risk for serious illness from coronavirus. According to the CDC, you’re at higher risk if:

  • You’re 65 or older
  • You live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • You have a chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • You have a serious heart condition
  • Your immune system is compromised because of cancer treatment, HIV or prolonged use of corticosteroids
  • You’re severely obese, defined as a body mass index (BMI) over 40
  • You have an underlying medical condition that’s not well controlled, such as diabetes, renal failure or liver disease

Practice Good Hand Hygiene
Wash your hands often, especially after sneezing, blowing your nose, coughing or being in a public place. Always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, nose and eyes. 

Stay 6 Feet Away From People Who Are Sick
As coronavirus continues to infect people in the U.S., chances are you will know someone who becomes infected. If that person is a family member you live with, the CDC recommends home isolation. This involves designating a specific sick room and having the ill person stay in that room and away from others. If possible, the sick person should use a separate bathroom, too. 

Clean High-Touch Surfaces in Your Home Often
Clean and disinfect key spots in your home often, such as tables, doorknobs, sinks, faucets, desks, toilets, switches, handles and trash cans. 

If you do go out, don’t touch surfaces in public places, such as handrails, door handles and elevator buttons. Use your sleeve or a tissue to cover your hand before touching these areas. If you touch a public surface, wash your hands as soon as possible afterward.

If Your Symptoms Are Serious, Make a Telemedicine Appointment With a Doctor
Call your provider and stay home if you feel sick. If you begin to feel sick and experience coronavirus symptoms, such as fever, coughing and difficulty breathing, the best thing to do first is to call your provider.

Call your provider or make an appointment for a virtual visit using the secure AdventHealth app and a computer or mobile device, such as a tablet or cell phone. 

You can find the AdventHealth app in the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. A phone call or virtual visit can provide your provider with the details needed to make an informed medical decision about any care you may need. 

If your symptoms get worse and you feel it’s a medical emergency, call 911. Tell the dispatcher that you may have coronavirus. This information can also help you know what to do if you don’t feel well. 

Get the Data on Coronavirus
To stay current on the latest coronavirus statistics and follow the path of the pandemic, visit the CDC’s Cases in U.S. The CDC updates this page daily at noon Monday through Friday. Numbers close out at 4 pm the day before reporting. 

The WHO also issues a daily Coronavirus Disease 2019 Situation Report, which tracks key statistics related to coronavirus. Data is reported to the WHO by 10 am, Central European Time. 

We’re Here to Help You Stay Healthy 

For the latest information on coronavirus, visit our Coronavirus Resource Hub. We’re continually updating this site with important news that can help you stay healthy and informed. 
 

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