Mass hysteria? State of emergency? Toilet paper hoarding? How serious is this thing? The prognosis for coronavirus patients is better than you think.
Fifty-five percent of COVID-19 cases have concluded in recovery, compared to the 3 percent that ended fatally.
As of March 10, there were 116,588 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, according to John Hopkins University. And of those 116,588 cases, 64,391 have recovered from the virus (60,098 of those recoveries were in mainland China).
This is to say that over half of documented cases of COVID-19 have ended in recovery. But many of the cases have not concluded, as the global death toll for COVID-19 is 4,090.
It's important to note, whenever numbers are being crunched to reach conclusions about the coronavirus, that data is still coming in. Ongoing cases of COVID-19 do not count for or against the recovery rate. What's more, experts anticipate at least some unreported coronavirus infections, probably with mild symptoms.
Most cases are mild.
A report from the Chinese CDC found that 81 percent of COVID-19 cases were mild, from a sample size of 44,672. Only 14 percent of those cases were severe but not fatal. Around five percent of those cases were critical, with about half of that five percent ending in death.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that "1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care." But most cases (about 80 percent) recover from the disease without needing any special treatment. Most often, symptoms aren't too bad—most common are fever, fatigue, and dry cough.
What's the right amount of worry?
The WHO says that worry for ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities is "quite normal," but advises we channel that concern into productive and protective actions. Their advice echoes what public health experts have been saying since January: Don't panic, but take it seriously.
It's pretty easy to get stirred up about coronavirus—it's heavily featured in the news cycle, and there are a lot of disheartening headlines. But as we take thoughtful measures to protect our communities, it's good to consider optimistic sides to the data and spread correct information.
How are you feeling about coronavirus developments? Let us know in the comments!