The Status of Coronavirus: Updated 03-03-2020

Coronavirus, Corona virus, COVID, Venincasa Dental

Risk of Dying from Coronavirus Infection

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

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 [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). 

“The patient in Washington, a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions, died Friday night [February 28, 2020] after test results confirmed he had novel coronavirus” (Abbott, 03-01-2020).

 “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).

Neither Texas nor any other state adjacent to Texas have “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, 03-02-2020).

“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).

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 C.D.C. 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).

There have been 82,000 cases of Coronavirus infection worldwide (Yeung, 02-27-2020).

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

“Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “The [coronavirus] 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).

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).

More than twenty-four countries have patients with Coronavirus infection (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).

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).

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).

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). Accessed March 2, 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.

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.