Some CDC and Other Stats of Interest

By April 10, 2020 Commentary

The Centers for Disease Control releases a lot of coronavirus stats and data.  One interesting chart (CDC Chart) shows cumulative hospitalizations through March 28th.  The data is displayed in number of hospitalizations per 100,000 of population and is grouped by age cohorts.  If you hover your cursor over the chart you will see the data in a column.  Here it is, for ages 0 to 4, .2 coronvirus hospitalizations per 100,000, or 2 per million.  For ages 5 to 17, .1 per 100,000 or 1 per million.  For ages 18 to 49, 2.5 per 100,000 or 25 per million.  So let’s stop there for a minute, if you are under age 50, 28 out of a million of you might be hospitalized with the disease.  To continue, ages 50 to 64, 7.4 per 100,000 or 74 per million and ages 65 plus, 13.8 per 100,000 or 138 per million.  If they broke that over 65 out further, you would see a lot more in the over 80 than between 65 and 80.  So for a million people of all ages, there have been 240 hospitalizations.  This number will go up, but it is pretty small.  But most startling, out of those 240 hospitalizations, more than half were in people over 65 and 212, or almost 90% were in people over 50.

Now let’s go to Worldometers, one of the most popular sites for global data on the epidemic and do a little math (check mine, at 70 I am not as sharp as I used to be!).  Looking at it as I am writing this post, there are 1,148,028 active cases and 450,884 closed cases, for a total of 1,598,912.  Out of the active cases, 49,089, or a little over 4%, are deemed critical.  The critical percent of active cases has been creeping down, I suspect because the people most susceptible to serious illness got hit first.  95,483 people had died or about 6% of all cases.  That seems high, but no one seriously disputes that actual infections are a multiple of tested cases.  If that multiple is ten, the death percent drops to .6%.  When we have a better handle on infections, I believe it will drop even lower.

Looking at a couple of countries, the US has done around 2,390,000 tests and has 465,000 cases, for an infection rate of 19.5%.  Germany has done around 1,318,000 tests, or twice as many per capita, and had 118,200 cases, for an infection rate of about 9%.  If you do more tests, apparently you find more negatives.  South Korea, often put forward as the poster child for aggressive testing, has done a little more per capita testing than the US, but much less than Germany.  It had 10,400 cases out of 477,300 tests, an infection rate of only 2.2%.  More evidence suggesting that more testing just finds more negatives.  On the other hand, Italy had almost as much per capita testing as Germany but a much higher infection rate, suggesting that things got out of hand there quickly.  And Switzerland had the highest per capita testing rate, and a relatively high infection rate of 13.4%.  So testing data may not tell you a lot in the absence of understanding testing strategies and when the initiation of testing occurred relative to the appearance of cases in the population.  But it is interesting to see the high level of variance.

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