Ireland’s popular morning radio newscaster, Sean O’Rourke, has referred to Covid-19 as “a deadly plague”
Are these kinds of pronouncements by media personalities helpful, or even factual?
In the article quoted below, you will find that the often quoted mortality rate of Covid-19 is very much opent to question…
“Fear of Covid-19 is based on its high estimated case fatality rate—2% to 4% of people with confirmed Covid-19 have died, according to the World Health Organization and others,” the article, headlined “Is the Coronavirus as Deadly as They Say?”andwritten by Dr. Eran Bendavid and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, reads. “So if 100 million Americans ultimately get the disease, two million to four million could die. We believe that estimate is deeply flawed. The true fatality rate is the portion of those infected who die, not the deaths from identified positive cases.”
This is very important, because if we underestimate the number of people infected with Covid-19, we will automatically overestimate the mortality rate. And that seems to be exactly what is happening…
“If the number of actual infections is much larger than the number of cases—orders of magnitude larger—then the true fatality rate is much lower as well. That’s not only plausible but likely based on what we know so far,” the professors argued.
The professors cited data from Iceland, China, the United States, and Italy, which is arguably the hardest-hit region when it comes to the coronavirus.
“On March 6, all 3,300 people of Vò were tested, and 90 were positive, a prevalence of 2.7%,” the professors said. “Applying that prevalence to the whole province (population 955,000), which had 198 reported cases, suggests there were actually 26,000 infections at that time. That’s more than 130-fold the number of actual reported cases. Since Italy’s case fatality rate of 8% is estimated using the confirmed cases, the real fatality rate could in fact be closer to 0.06%.”
Given that the entire reaction and lockdown we are going through is based on the perceived mortality rate, it is really important that we get the most accurate possible reading of the mortality rate. That is not possible if we are limiting testing to those showing strong symptoms. Once they tested an entire village in Italy, they were able to estimate an actual mortality rate of 0.06% vs 4%. That is a massive difference, and brings Covid-19 mortality rate down closer to other flu viruses.
The simplest and most rational approach for Ireland, or any country. Is to test the entire population of a few towns and villages, and estimate the actual prevalence of this virus. If, as can be expected, we find that Covid-19 is quite widely prevalent, like other flu viruses in April, we can then calculate the actual numbers infected, and make a much more accurate estimate of the actual mortality rate.
This would be a much better use of the limited number of tests available.
But I fear that there is so much time and energy gone into hysteria and being seen to do the right thing, that there is little energy left for rational thought. And what is worse, the media and government have invested so much into promoting the hysteria, that they cannot now do a u turn without losing face. So we can’t expect the media, the government, or our armies of experts to be promoters of a rational approach to Covid-19.
The best example right now seems to be the story of the king with no clothes.