Go Figure: COVID-19

Photo Credit: Semmi W.

The COVID-19 coronavirus has now spread to every continent except for Antartica. Due to schools and businesses around the world shutting down (and even the viability of the 2020 Summer Olympics being called into question), comparisons have been drawn between the COVID-19 outbreak and the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. However, the data is very limited. At this point, all recommendations for prevention are educated guesses. The data visual above highlights the results of the only current, reliable data there is: 55, 924 cases in China analyzed in a report presented by the World Health Organization (WHO). Over 9 days in late February, a “Joint Mission” team of 25 health experts from China, Germany, Singapore, the United States, Nigeria, and other nations reviewed 55, 924 COVID-19 virus cases in China and the measures being taken to prevent and contain the spread of the outbreak. The results revealed that the majority of people infected with COVID-19 coronavirus (80%) experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover. This means that 4 out of 5 people who contract the virus do not experience severe or life-threatening conditions.

The rate of those dying from the virus is between 1%-2%. However, 55, 924 cases is too small of a sample size to make widespread assumptions. Also, because the majority of cases are mild, it can be difficult for those experiencing the COVID-19 virus to distinguish their symptoms and actually report their conditions. Doctors may not even be able to correctly diagnose those experiencing mild symptoms with COVID-19 unless it becomes severe.

The report noted, “Airborne spread has not been reported for COVID-19 and it is not believed to be a major driver of transmission.” Even so, biotech companies like Moderna have developed a vaccine and are now preparing for clinical trials. Out of the data set analyzed in the WHO report, the median age of those infected was 51 years. Those most susceptible to the virus were over the age of 60 with preexisting conditions like diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and cancer. Only 2.4% of all cases were people under the age of 19. To review the findings in detail, read the full WHO report here.

GO FIGURE is a data visual series highlighting the numbers which shape culture. Subscribe here. What should I analyze next? Tell me what you think of this story via contact or comment below.