Case Fatality Rate (CFR) for COVID-19

by Raywat Deonandan, PhD

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    00:00 This is the change in CFR from January to February, in parts of China.

    00:06 So, in Wuhan, where COVID-19 was first discovered, its CFR started out quite high, over 20% and went down to under 5% rather quickly.

    00:20 In Hubei province, the same trend was observed, but in that sense it was a bit of the opposite going on though.

    00:28 It started out low, went to a low peak and then descended afterwards.

    00:35 The rest of China, it started about 5%, then came down and plateaud at about 1% or so.

    00:42 In China overall, followed the same trend as Wuhan.

    00:46 The point here is that CFR starts out high as we test the most symptomatic cases, and then levels off to a lower level when testing becomes more commonplace.

    01:01 As a result, we have to be very careful in how we interpret the CFR earlier on in an epidemic because testing is still ramping up.

    01:12 Here are some examples of initial CFRs in various parts of the world for COVID-19.

    01:18 So in the world, we see it started out low, then rose quickly.

    01:23 In Europe, a similar trend.

    01:25 In the United States, it started high, came down, then came up again.

    01:29 In China, as we just saw, it started low, then went to a peak, then came down and so forth.

    01:37 The lesson from this curve, these curves rather, is that CFR is unstable earlier on in the epidemic.

    01:46 So we have to wait, we have to give it some time, to collect more data to allow testing to be deployed on a more even and distributed basis before we get a true sense of how lethal the disease actually is.

    02:02 I mentioned that age is important as well.

    02:05 So for COVID-19, let's look at some of the CFRs in different parts of the world as distributed by age.

    02:12 South Korea, we see that lethality increases dramatically as we get into the later years.

    02:20 Same as Spain, same with China and of course, same with Italy.

    02:24 The lesson from this graph is that as noted, the death rates for COVID-19 are extremely gated by age, but also by geography.

    02:37 So these are multi-variable analyses.

    02:40 It matters where you live, it matters how old you are.

    02:43 It matters how many comorbidities you have and so forth.

    02:49 Now, if I tell you that the CFR for COVID-19 is about 3%, well that's an average of all the ages of people who got the disease.

    02:59 But if your population skews older as does the population of Italy, more so than the population of the USA, chances are you'll have a higher CFR because you'remore likely to die if you're older.

    03:12 So stratifying lethality rates by age category is sometimes a useful thing to do, especially for determining patient prognosis, but also in understanding the impact of the disease on your population.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Case Fatality Rate (CFR) for COVID-19 by Raywat Deonandan, PhD is from the course Pandemics.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Above 80 years
    2. Neonates
    3. 1 to 5 years
    4. 20 to 25 years
    5. 40 to 45 years
    1. 3%
    2. 2%
    3. 1%
    4. 4%
    5. 5%

    Author of lecture Case Fatality Rate (CFR) for COVID-19

     Raywat Deonandan, PhD

    Raywat Deonandan, PhD

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