How deadly is the new coronavirus (COVID-19) ?
As of March 1, 2020, 79 968 patients in China and 7169 outside of China had tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).1 Among Chinese patients, 2873 deaths had occurred, equivalent to a mortality rate of 3·6% (95% CI 3·5–3·7), while 104 deaths from COVID-19 had been reported outside of China (1·5% [1·2–1·7]). However, these mortality rate estimates are based on the number of deaths relative to the number of confirmed cases of infection, which is not representative of the actual death rate; patients who die on any given day were infected much earlier, and thus the denominator of the mortality rate should be the total number of patients infected at the same time as those who died. Notably, the full denominator remains unknown because asymptomatic cases or patients with very mild symptoms might not be tested and will not be identified. Such cases therefore cannot be included in the estimation of actual mortality rates, since actual estimates pertain to clinically apparent COVID-19 cases.What are your chances of dying if you get infected by the new coronavirus? Despite data pouring in from many countries, there is still a wide range of estimates, from as low as 1 in 1000 to as high as 1 in 30. What is clear is that there is no one answer: the risk depends on your age, sex, health and the care you receive if you become severely ill.