A new estimate of the US infection rate from the new coronavirus puts it at 1.3%, which makes it more deadly than the seasonal flu, which in a typical season has a 0.1% mortality rate.
Anirban Basu, professor of pharmacy at the University of Washington, Seattle, used publicly available data on infection numbers and deaths from the new coronavirus through April 20.
At a county level, mortality ranged from 0.5% to 3.6%, Basu reported in the journal Health Affairs on Thursday.
The study did not include New York City, which has had the highest number of cases and deaths in the country. The number of cases and deaths changed too quickly to include in the study, Basu said.
The lowest death rate was in Putnam County, New York – calculated at 0.5%. The highest was in King County, Washington with an estimated 3.6%. By April 20, there were 134 counties in the United States that had not reported Covid-19 deaths.
Some contexts: These are only preliminary figures, Basu said. The deaths in the case are based on the reported number of confirmed cases and confirmed Covid-19 related deaths.
Since it is still unclear how many have actually been infected, the frequency is probably not that high, although the authors created a model that tried to account for some of the unknowns. The model does not constitute the number of asymptomatic cases. The numbers will be clearer when there is more testing, Basu said.