Has the flu ever killed this many people in so few places this quickly at this time of year and under these extraordinary circumstances? If the answer to that question is no, then it strongly suggests the IFR of SARS-Cov-2 is significantly higher than the flu.
“Total deaths in seven states that have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic are nearly 50 percent higher than normal for the five weeks from March 8 through April 11, according to new death statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is 9,000 more deaths than were reported as of April 11 in official counts of deaths from the coronavirus.
The new data is partial and most likely undercounts the recent death toll significantly. But it still illustrates how the coronavirus is causing a surge in deaths in the places it has struck, probably killing more people than the reported statistics capture. These increases belie arguments that the virus is only killing people who would have died anyway from other causes. Instead, the virus has brought a pattern of deaths unlike anything seen in recent years.
If you look at the provisional deaths from all causes, death counts in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland and Colorado have spiked far above their normal levels for the period. In New York City, the home of the biggest outbreak, the number of deaths over this period is more than three times the normal number. (Recent data suggests it could have reached six times higher than normal.) …”
“The crude case fatality rates, covering people who have a covid-19 diagnosis, have been about 6 percent globally as well as in the United States. But when all the serological data is compiled and analyzed, the fatality rate among people who have been infected could be less than 1 percent.
But as infectious disease experts point out, even a seemingly low rate can translate into a shockingly large death toll if the virus spreads through a major portion of the population.
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said Monday that the latest antibody numbers in New York City indicate that 25 percent of the population of 8.8 million has already been infected. The city has recorded more than 12,000 confirmed covid-19 deaths, and lists another 5,000 as probable deaths. That is an infection fatality rate between 0.5 and 0.8 percent, depending on which death toll is factored in. (A spike in all-cause deaths in recent weeks also suggests that some coronavirus-related deaths have not been captured by mortality statistics.)
“The death rate is much, much lower,” Cuomo said Monday, referring to the serology tests. He said the New York state rate appears to be 0.5 percent — which is one death per 200 infections.
That figure is still sobering to infectious disease experts. A rate of 0.5 percent “is way more than a usual flu season and I would think way more than the ’57 or 1968 [influenza] pandemic death toll, too,” Viboud said. …”
The Imperial College model which projected 2.2 million deaths in the United States assumed a 0.66% IFR based on Chinese data. An IFR of 0.5% to 0.8% is far more devastating than an IFR of 0.1%.
If COVID-19 is no worse than the 2017-2018 flu season, why is it already surpassing the death toll? Why does it spike far beyond the deaths that actually occurred in places like New York City at that time?