|Moments may fly whilst the weeks drag.|
"But secondly, nine in 10 did have pre-existing illnesses, such as heart disease and respiratory problems that put them at heightened risk of death anyway."
One example is the H1N1 pandemic of 2009, known as swine flu. Early case fatality rate estimates were inflated by a factor of more than 10. Even 10 weeks into the epidemic, estimates varied widely between countries, coming in between 0.1% and 5.1%. When medics later had a chance to go through case documents and evaluate cases, the actual H1N1 case death rate was far lower, at 0.02%.
A recent study of COVID-19 cases in the United States estimated a mortality rate of 10% to 27% for those ages 85 and over, 3% to 11% for those ages 65 to 84, 1% to 3% for those ages 55 to 64 and less than 1% for those ages 20 to 54.
Is the virus bringing forward deaths by a few months?
Every year, about 600,000 people in the UK die. And the frail and elderly are most at risk, just as they are if they have coronavirus.
Nearly 10% of people aged over 80 will die in the next year, Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter at the University of Cambridge points out, and the risk of them dying if infected with coronavirus is almost exactly the same