Coronavirus Update: New research suggests this outbreak may not be as deadly as you think

Coronavirus Update: New research suggests this outbreak may not be as deadly as you think
  • A recent report on the epidemiological characteristics of the coronavirus has revealed new information on the ongoing worldwide epidemic.
  • Even though over 2,000 deaths have been linked to the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that the fatality ratio is actually low at 2.3%.
  • The same report adds that 80% percent of all cases are mild.

Since the coronavirus outbreak (officially called COVID-19) was first detected in Wuhan, China, it has managed to spread to other parts of the world.

As of February 19, 2020, there were 75, 204 confirmed cases across 25 countries and over 2,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

However, a report on the epidemiological characteristics of COVID-19 presented by Dr Dhamari Naidoo, Technical Officer For Laboratory Strengthening, WHO suggests things may not be as bad as they seem.

Making the presentation at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on February 19, 2020, in Abuja, Naidoo stated that the virus's current case fatality ratio is low at 2.3 percent. The technical officer added that 80 percent of all cases are actually mild.

Further making her point, Naidoo noted that although COVID-19 had spread to some parts of the world, there has been "a downward trend with no sustained transmission in affected countries”.

This has been backed by the statistics reported on February 19, 2020, by WHO which states that "No new countries reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours."

Dr Michael Ryan, WHO's Health Emergencies Programme chief has also said, "We’re not seeing a dramatic increase in transmission outside China." He also warned against making hasty assessments about coronavirus.

WHO is currently working with an international network of statisticians and mathematical modellers to further understand this ongoing outbreak.

Concerning Nigeria's ability to handle the outbreak, Naidoo said, “We now have four laboratories where the disease can be rapidly tested in the country. The centres are located at the National Reference Laboratory, Abuja, LUTH, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, and the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID)."

The technical officer concluded by encouraging Nigerians to visit ncdc.gov.ng and the Federal Ministry of Health website to stay updates and get accurate information on the virus.

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