A major problem with policy-making concerning the COVID-19 Wuhan coronavirus is its novelty, which means we just don’t know a lot about this virus.
Since its outbreak in China last year (most probably as early as October 2019), scientists worldwide have been furiously studying the virus, while more people have been and are being tested for the virus. As a result, we now know that the death rate of COVID-19 is much lower than we’d been told — 0.3-0.4% instead of 3.0-4.0%. (More on Covid-19’s inflated death rate in a post to come.)
That being said, a mortality rate of 0.3% to 0.4% is still 3 to 4 times more dangerous than the seasonal flu, also a coronavirus, the death rate of which is about 0.1%. Professor Calum Semple, a consultant respiratory pediatrician from Liverpool University, said the mortality rate of Covid-19 is similar to those hospitalized with Ebola:
“Covid-19 is a very serious disease. Crude hospital case fatality rate is of the same magnitude as Ebola. And people don’t get this. If you come into hospital with Covid-19 disease and you’re sick enough to be admitted, crude case fatality rate is sitting somewhere between 35 and 40 per cent. And that’s the same case crude case fatality rate for someone admitted to hospital with Ebola…. [P]eople need to…get it into their heads. This is an incredibly dangerous disease.”
You probably already know that the most vulnerable population are (CDC):
- The elderly (65 age and older).
- Those living in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
- Those with underlying medical conditions (“co-morbidities”) of diabetes, respiratory diseases including COPD and (moderate to severe) asthma, hypertension and serious heart conditions, chronic kidney disease (undergoing dialysis), liver disease, and immuno-compromised. Diabetes, according to data from several sources, increases the risk of death from Covid-19 up to 50% because it is a major risk factor for the development of severe pneumonia and sepsis due to virus infections. (Medscape, April 28, 2020)
- Males: a not-yet-published study suggests that the testes/testicles might act as a reservoir for SARS-CoV-2 or the Wuhan virus. (Medical News Today, April 28, 2020)
A less publicized risk factor is obesity.
Thomas Burrows reports for The Sun, April 29, 2020, that according to new research on nearly 17,000 Brits with Covid-19 admitted to 166 UK hospitals, the largest study of its kind ouside of China, obesity increases the risk of dying from Covid-19 by as much as 37%.
The obesity trend was not identified in China because fewer people there are extremely fat.
Cardiologist Aseem Malhotra said said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was so badly affected by Covid-19 because he is “significantly” overweight, and that “slimmer” members of the cabinet, including Matt Hancock, were not hospitalized and recovered much more quickly.
Note that obesity is a causal factor for many of the other Covid-19 co-morbidities — those of diabetes, respiratory and cardiac diseases.
A 2012 study warned that at the rate we’re going, by the year 2030, in 10 years, more than 4 of every 10 (42%) Americans may become obese and 11% severely obese.
- “Normal weight” means a BMI of 18.5–24.9
- “Over weight” means a BMI of 25.0–29.9
- “Obesity” means a BMI of 30.0–34.9
- “Severe obesity” means a BMI of 35.0–39.9
- “Morbid obesity” means a BMI of 40 or over
BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s mass (weight) by the square of his or her height, typically expressed either in metric or lbs. and inches. This is the formula:
BMI = mass (lb) ÷ (height in inches)² x 703
There’s an easier way to calculate your BMI. Click here!
Obesity being a 37% higher risk for dying from Covid-19 makes the recent bizarre media celebration of obese women like model Tess Holliday and rapper Lizzo even more perverse and objectionable.