The Wuhan Coronavirus Death Rate Is Climbing

Bad news

Back on January 28th, I wrote my first analysis on the Wuhan Coronavirus. In that article, I specifically mentioned the death rate and wrote that it was too early to tell if the new coronavirus would be as deadly as SARS.

So, I wanted to update that original chart from a few weeks ago because we are starting to see the beginning of what may be a painful rise in the mortality rate:

As the chart shows, the Wuhan Coronavirus (thus far) looks like it is not as deadly as SARS. Unfortunately, somehow the narrative seems to have gone a few steps further into the territory of thinking that this outbreak is “not that deadly” or “just like a bad flu.” I have seen these kinds of comments work their way into mainstream thinking and heard them first hand.

Let’s be clear. This is not a bad flu.

Furthermore, even though the death rate thus far has been around 2% (much worse than the flu), that doesn’t mean anything yet. This is a long illness, taking weeks to kill. The majority of people who got it are still sick or are just getting sick!

When you divide the total infections by the number dead it’s an inaccurate measure because some of those infected right now, sadly, will die. They won’t all die today - it will take weeks. You don’t get the real mortality rate until the outbreak has run its full course. With SARS, that played out by hovering around a 3% death rate before climbing to nearly 10% when all was said and done.

A lot of mainstream focus has been on infections. The number of deaths has obviously been a focus as well but with the number of infections tapering to some extent, the narrative is likely to shift to the surging death rate. The uptick in the mortality rate is already evident. Another round of panic could hit as it continues to climb even if the disease as a whole is slowing down its spread.

Hopefully, this little diatribe helps those who are concerned about the virus and are following the story. It can be hard to figure out what is happening and there is a lot of misinformation or bad analysis with good intentions out there. I continue to stick by my original projection and, as always, will provide updates as material information comes out.


Enjoy the article? If you haven’t already, subscribe for free below and never miss a post. No spam. Cancel whenever!


Related content:

Pandemic? It’s still early…

Forecasting Coronavirus Cases

Forecasting Long-term Wuhan Coronavirus Cases

Helpful Coronavirus Resources

Five Useful Coronavirus Charts

Forecasting Long-term Wuhan Coronavirus (nCoV-2019) Mortality Rates

Beware! The Coronavirus Stock Market Narrative

Forecasting Wuhan Coronavirus Cases (Performance Update)

Did we just see the inflection point of the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak in Hubei?