Novel Coronavirus: Updated March 9, 2020

Coronavirus, Corona virus, COVID, Venincasa Dental

Coronavirus Fast Facts

Risk of Dying from Coronavirus Infection

Preliminary numbers indicate that about 2-3% percent of those infected are killed by Novel Coronavirus infection (Grady, 03-01-2020; Johnson, 02-19-2020; Noack, et al., 02-20-2020; WHO, 03-08-2020).

A new report on 1,099 cases from many parts of China, published on [February 28, 2020] in The New England Journal of Medicine, finds a lower [coronavirus infection death] rate: 1.4 percent” (Grady, 03-01-2020).

“The true [novel coronavirus] death rate could turn out to be similar to that of a severe seasonal flu, below 1 percent, according to an editorial published in [The New England Journal of Medicine] by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci and Dr. H. Clifford Lane, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” (Grady, 03-01-2020).

These rates compare to the common flu; about 1-3% of patients infected with the common flu virus die from flu infection (CDC, 01-10-2020).

The main determining factor in how a patient responds to the coronavirus is their immune system, which resonates with the findings from SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) (Johnson, 02-19-2020). 

“As of [March 1, 2020], there were about 87,000 coronavirus cases and 3,000 deaths globally” (Grady, 03-01-2020; cf. Abbott, 03-01-2020).

 “There are now 108 confirmed and presumptive positive cases of novel coronavirus in the United States, according to an update Monday [March 2, 2020] from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These include 45 people who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, three people repatriated from China and 60 US cases. . . Among the 60 US cases, there have been six deaths” (Gumbrecht, 03-03-2020).

“COVID-19: U.S. at a Glance: Total cases: 164, Total deaths: 11, States reporting cases: 19” (CDC, 03-07-2020).

The state of Texas as between one to five “confirmed nor presumptive positive cases of COVID-19.” These numbers “do not include those who returned to the U. S. via State Department chartered flights”(CDC, 03-07-2020).

“Most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus. This virus is NOT currently spreading widely in the United States” (CDC, 03-02-2020).

“Outside of China, [novel coronavirus infection statistics]: 24 727 confirmed, 484 deaths, 101 Countries/territories/ areas” (WHO, 03-08-2020). Based on these statistics, outside of China, the risk of dying from infection is 2% of “reported cases.” Logically speaking, some cases are not reported for various reasons.

Method of Transmission

Coronavirus is spread by sneezing and coughing within a six-foot range (Johnson, 02-19-2020; NCIRD, 02-25-2020). A secondary way for infection is by contacting a contaminated surface and then touching the mouth, nose, or eye (NCIRD, 02-25-2020).


Coughing, sneezing, common cold symptoms, infection of the upper airway making breathing more difficult, infection deeper into the lungs, loss of lung function (Johnson, 02-19-2020).

Prevalence of Common Flu and Coronavirus Infection

Since 2012, each year in the United States there are about 24-34 million cases of “symptomatic illness” of the flu (CDC, 01-10-2020).

” As of Feb. 22 [2020], in the current season there were at least 32 million cases of flu in the United States, 310,000 hospitalizations and 18,000 flu deaths, according to the CDC. Hospitalization rates among children and young adults this year have been unusually high. . . By contrast, about 70 people in the United States have been infected with the new coronavirus, and there has been one death.” (Grady, 03-01-2020; cf. Schumaker, 03-02-2020).

 “Coronavirus also appears to be much less infectious than flu, based on what is known at this point” (Thompson, 02-07-2020).  

“There is now a total of 95,265 reported cases of COVID-19 globally, and 3281 deaths” (WHO, 03-05-2020). This calculates to a 3.4% death rate for “reported cases.” It is unclear how many cases are not reported; thus, the death rate is actually lower to some degree.

“As of today’s [March 7, 2020] reports, the global number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has surpassed 100 000” (WHO, 03-07-2020).

“Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “The [coronavirus novel] risk is low. We need to get on with our normal lives” (Abbott, 03-01-2020).

“Federal health officials said that the overall risk to the general public in the U.S. is still low, though the risk is rising in some areas and is higher for certain groups” (Abbott, 03-01-2020).  

Risk Factors

Advanced age, underlying chronic illnesses, diabetes, high blood pressure (Johnson, 02-19-2020).

“For most people, COVID-19 infection will cause mild illness however, it can make some people very ill and, in some people, it can be fatal. Older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease or diabetes) are at risk for severe disease” (WHO, 03-08-2020).

Countries Most Affected by Coronavirus

Began in China (CDC, 02-25-2020; Johnson, 02-19-2020, Noack, et al., 02-20-2020).

South Korea has second most Coronavirus infections (Noack, et al., 02-20-2020).

Iran had three cases of Coronavirus infection as of February 20, 2020 (Noack, et al., 02-20-2020).

“Japan reported the first two deaths from the Diamond Princess cruise liner, South Korea reported its first fatality, and new cases in Iran sparked fears about many new cases appearing in the Middle East” (Noack, et al., 02-20-2020).

 “At this time, this virus is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States” (CDC, 02-25-2020).

“Outside China, 2055 cases were reported in 33 countries. Around 80% of those cases continue to come from just three countries [Korea, Italy, and Iran]” (WHO, 03-05-2020; 03-08-2020). “Although a few countries are reporting large numbers of cases, 115 countries have not reported any cases, 21 countries have reported only one case, and 5 countries that had reported cases have not reported new cases in the past 14 days” (WHO, 03-05-2020).

“This epidemic is a threat for every country, rich and poor. As we have said before, even high-income countries should expect surprises. The solution is aggressive preparedness” (WHO, 03-05-2020).

“These are plans that start with leadership from the top, coordinating every part of government, not just the health ministry – security, diplomacy, finance, commerce, transport, trade, information and more – the whole government should be involved” (WHO, 03-05-2020).

“Over 100 countries have now reported laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID19” (WHO, 03-08-2020).

Prevention of Flu Spread

“CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine, taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed” (CDC, 02-25-2020).

“At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat it” (CDC, 04-02-2020).

“People can protect themselves and their communities by taking steps such as frequent handwashing, avoiding contact with people who are sick and staying home if they develop symptoms, health authorities say” (Abbott, 03-01-2020).

“While we won’t have exact figures until after the flu season is over, the 2019-2020 vaccine is estimated to be 45% effective overall and 55% effective in children. In comparison, the 2018-2019 flu vaccine was roughly 29% effective” (Schumaker, February 21, 2020).

“Partly because of these misconceptions, only half of Americans reported that they planned to get the flu vaccine this year, according to a survey conducted by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases this summer” (Schumaker, 03-02-2020).

“Avoid close contact with people who are sick,  avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, stay home when you are sick, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash, clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Follow [the] CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask; [the] CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility). Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website. For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings. These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers (CDC, 02-15-2020).

“The World Health Organization (WHO) reminds all countries and communities that the spread of this virus can be significantly slowed or even reversed through the implementation of robust containment and control activities” (WHO, 03-07-2020).

“We must stop, contain, control, delay and reduce the impact of this virus at every opportunity. Every person has the capacity to contribute, to protect themselves, to protect others, whether in the home, the community, the healthcare system, the workplace or the transport system” (WHO, 03-07-2020).

“Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority” (WHO, 2020).

“The fight against rumours and misinformation is a vital part of the battle against this virus. . . If countries act aggressively to find, isolate and treat cases, and to trace every contact, they can change the trajectory of this epidemic” (WHO, 03-05-2020).

“As of the evening of March 6, 72 state and local public health labs in 48 states and the District of Columbia have successfully verified and are currently using COVID-19 diagnostic tests” (CDC, 03-07-2020).

The Future

“COVID-19 is an emerging disease and there is more to learn about its transmissibility, severity, and other features and what will happen in the United States” (NCIRD, 02-17-2020).

“There’s still a lot we don’t know, but every day we’re learning more, and we’re working around the clock to fill in the gaps in our knowledge” (WHO, 03-05-2020).

“If you are not in an area where COVID-19 is spreading or have not travelled from an area where COVID-19 is spreading or have not been in contact with an infected patient, your risk of infection is low” (WHO, 03-08-2020).

Sources Cited

Abbott, Brianna, et al. “Coronavirus Spreads in U.S., as Rhode Island Confirms State’s First Case.” Wall Street Journal (March 1, 2020). Accessed March 1, 2020.

Centers for Disease Control. “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the U.S” (Updated March 2, 2020, and continually). Accessed March 9, 2020.

Centers for Disease Control. “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary” (February 25, 2020). Accessed February 25, 2020.

Centers for Disease Control. “Disease Burden of Influenza” (January 10, 2020). Accessed February 25, 2020.

Centers for Diseases Control. “Prevention and Treatment” (Last Reviewed February 15, 2020). Accessed March 4, 2020.

Grady, Denise. “How Does the Coronavirus Compare with the Flu?” The New York Times (Updated March 1, 2020). Accessed March 1, 2020.

Gumbrecht, Jamie. “CDC: 108 cases of novel coronavirus in the US” (March 3, 2020). CNN. Accessed March 3, 2020.

Johnson, Carolyn Y. “How the Coronavirus Can Kill People.” The Washington Post (February 19, 2020). Accessed February 25, 2020.

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases. “Coronavirus 2019: COVID 19.” Centers for Disease Control (February 23, 2020). Accessed February 25, 2020.

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Division of Viral Diseases. “How COVID 19 Spreads.” Centers for Disease Control (February 17, 2020). Accessed February 25, 2020.

Noack, Rick, et al. “Coronavirus Infections in China Exceed 75,000; Cases Surge in South Korea.” The Washington Post (February 20, 2020). Accessed February 25, 2020.

Schumaker, Erin. “Flu Shot Better Than Last Year, Despite Tough Season for Kids” (February 21, 2020). ABC News Network. Accessed March 2, 2020.

World Health Organization (WHO). “Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Advice for the Public” (2020). Accessed March 9, 2020.

World Health Organization (WHO). “Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Situation Report – 48” (March 8, 2020). Accessed March 9, 2020.

World Health Organization (WHO). “WHO Director-General’s Opening Remarks at the Media Briefing on COVID-19 – 5 March 2020” (March 5, 2020). Accessed March 9, 2020.—5-march-2020.

World Health Organization (WHO). “WHO Statement on Cases of COVID-19 Surpassing 100 000” (March 7, 2020). Accessed March 9, 2020.