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Deadlier Than The Flu: What China's Coronavirus Statistics Mean

Newsy analyzed official data from China, the country hardest hit by the COVID-19 strain of coronavirus.
Posted at 5:43 PM, Mar 02, 2020

Our analysis found just over 80% of coronavirus cases in china are mild with symptoms mirroring a typical flu.

"We've seen evidence from China that this virus can be significantly curbed," said Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program. "So much of the future of this epidemic is not in the hands of virus. A lot of future of this epidemic is in the hands of ourselves."

This virus appears to be deadliest for the people typically most at risk for viruses -- those with an underlying health condition or the elderly.

Of the first 1,023 deaths confirmed in China, Newsy’s analysis found 80 percent were people over the age of 60.


Still, most coronavirus infections are not deadly.

Of the first 44,672 confirmed cases in China, our analysis found people aged 80 and older had a 15 percent death rate. There were no deaths of a child under the age of 10.

The death rate is only about one or two percent. But, that’s still about ten times deadlier than seasonal flu, which kills hundreds of thousands of people globally each year. 

And according to Chinese researchers… COVID-19 appears to be *more contagious than other lethal viruses like SARS and MERS.