Of the 29 Aussies who have contracted the coronavirus (COVID-19), 15 have recovered and one has passed away.
Globally, there have been over 88,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, but almost half – over 42,000 people – have since recovered to full health. Around 3,000 people, or 3.4% of cases, have died.
If we exclude China, where the healthcare system has been overwhelmed by the pandemic, the fatality rate drops to just 1.5%, according to researches from the Imperial College London.
So all evidence points to the chances of dying from the coronavirus to be very, very low, no matter how contagious the virus might be.
Estimating the mortality rate of a new disease is a tricky business. Researchers currently estimate that between five and 40 coronavirus cases in 1,000 will result in death.
But current data varies from region to region. Countries where healthcare systems are less likely to identify mild cases will subsequently report a higher death rate.
On the other hand, countries which are too quick to report a mortality rate might not include cases which have not run their course.
Younger People Are Less Likely To Die
The Chinese Centre for Disease Control analysed 44,000 coronavirus domestic coronavirus cases and found that young people have the lowest mortality rate.
If you’re over 50, you’re more than twice as likely to die from the coronavirus than if you were younger. That probability doubles with each consecutive decade of age.
The death rate for coronavirus cases in people over 80 is by far the highest at 15%.
People with preexisting health conditions such as heart problems or diabetes have also suffered a slightly higher mortality rate than the general population. No causation has been proven yet.
Australia Is Not Overwhelmed By The Outbreak
The final factor in how likely you are to die from the coronavirus is where you live. If you live somewhere where the healthcare system is already swamped with cases, or if it’s inadequate for some other reason, you’re less likely to get the help you need to recover.
There are only a handful of coronavirus cases most Australian states, and the government is preparing hospitals to be better equipped should more cases arise.
So everyone needs to relax. Thankfully, the chances of dying from the coronavirus (if you even catch it) are very low in Australia.Image: Getty Images / NurPhoto