Video: How can we figure out the real fatality rate of COVID-19 and how lethal it is?

| June 11, 2020
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Dr. Wessam Atif breaks down what we do and don’t know about the worldwide death rate, or case fatality rate, from COVID-19. The problem with simply compiling the rates published by the world’s nations is that they don’t always know what they are doing — and those stats may be calculated differently from nation to nation. “News flash: These numbers are mostly flawed and inaccurate,” Atif says in the video.

A more effective way to get a handle of the death rate is to study the case of the Diamond Princess cruise ship and its 3,711 passengers. This ship was quarantined in Japan during the early stages of the pandemic, creating what some see as a perfect environment for studying the virus. Among its attributes, according to Atif:

  • Whole population
  • Almost like a small village
  • No ethical concerns
  • Locked in with a virus for weeks
  • Everyone was tested
  • No other variables or confounding factors
  • Naturally randomized
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“As a public health professional, this is by far the best type of study I could dream of,” he said.

Dr. Wessam Atif is a medical doctor and a published public health action researcher. Dr. Atif focuses on qualitative research in Public Health, Sanitation, Hygiene Education and Healthy public policy to support governments and policymakers of developing countries to achieve better public health goals. He is studying his MPH at the University of Manchester. Recently, Dr. Atif has cooperated with the World Health Organization as a technical consultant to develop risk-based hygiene & sanitation inspection systems in the Western Pacific Region. Find him on Linkedin

Watch the video here

The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

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