Coronavirus Italy Case Study

The Italian Case Study indicates that this is a deadly virus.

Italy may be the most comprehensive picture of how the now ubiquitous infection called COVID-19 or Coronavirus spreads in a first world population. Northern Italy is an advanced region of productive and modern people.

First, Italy has a first class healthcare system with free healthcare given to anyone who shows up at a clinic, hospital or provider’s office. Although we do not know the availability of test kits, the number (or percent) of individual presenting symptoms, or the process by which confirmed cases were selected … we do know cases confirmed and patients deceased.
Second, the above chart should be freighting to it viewer since it represents the morbidity (spread) and the mortality of the virus. A casual reading of this chart might indicate that the chance of dying from the virus would be:
233 deaths / 5883 cases confirmed = 3.9 % mortality
This doesn’t seem so bad until you consider two important facts.

The 3.9% is calculated by comparing current deaths and current confirmed cases. The only problem with this is that the 233 people who died entered the hospital 5-10 days before when confirmed cases stood between 1000 and 2000. This would indicate that of the confirmed cases the actual mortality was between 11% and 23%. This is shocking.

The mortality rate is not spread evenly over age and thus one would expect that the mortality of elderly patients would be significantly greater. We do not know the distribution of ages in the Italian cohort, so we cannot make accurate assessments of the lethality of the virus in Italy.  General mortality rates by age can be inferred from those seen in the Chinese infections. See below.