Coronavirus death rate is lower than previously reported, study says, but it's still deadlier than seasonal flu
(CNN) How many people die after being infected with the novel coronavirus? Fewer than previously calculated, according to a study released Monday, but still more than die from the flu.
The research, published in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, estimated that about 0.66% of those infected with the virus will die.
That coronavirus death rate, which is lower than earlier estimates, takes into account potentially milder cases that often go undiagnosed -- but it's still far higher than the 0.1% of people who are killed by the flu.
When undetected infections aren't taken into account, the Lancet study found that the coronavirus death rate was 1.38%, which is more consistent with earlier reports.
Early in March, for example, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that "if you just do the math, the math is about 2%."
But he emphasized that the number could go down, saying that "as a group it's going to depend completely on what the factor of asymptomatic cases are."
That's because death rates typically only consider reported coronavirus cases, which tend to be more severe, and thus brought to the attention of health care workers. Asymptomatic cases -- or mild cases -- may not always be counted.
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