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Why coronavirus doesn't start an apocalypse: calming statistics

Daily updated data on the coronavirus 2019-nCoV can make even the most cold-blooded skeptics worry. Hundreds of thousands of infected, more than 11 thousand dead, and all this against the backdrop of intense suspense due to global quarantine and the collapse of the economy.

Photo: Shutterstock

Fear has big eyes, and many see in the new virus almost the end of the world - a threat that can destroy humanity. But actually it is not. Yes, the virus is contagious, but not infectious to many others known to medicine so far; Yes, it spreads quickly, but we have been living for decades in a world where other dangerous viruses are much more common, and we manage to cope with it.

If you overlay data on coronavirus on a global scale, you get a picture that can slightly reduce panic and fear of contracting. Moreover, do not forget that infection is not a sentence. 80% of those infected carry the disease COVID-19 in a mild form without the need for hospitalization, and a significant proportion of those hospitalized recover after the necessary medical procedures to support the body, especially its respiratory function.

On the subject: Different approaches: how to check for coronavirus in the USA and other countries of the world

Given the data on the distribution of coronavirus 2019-nCoV on March 20 (information from the site Worldometers), as well as the population of the most affected countries (estimated Countrymeters), it is easy to see that in no country the level of infection has approached half a percent of the total number of residents, remaining significantly lower than even a tenth of 1% of the country's population.

This suggests that in some countries the chance of winning the lottery is higher than picking up the coronavirus. And in the USA, the probability of infection is only slightly higher. risk of being killedthat doesn't seem so tall to us.

Infographics: ForumDaily

The situation with other viruses

If we compare these indicators with the prevalence of other viruses in the world, they are much lower, even though the number of coronavirus infected on the planet continues to grow, it is far from the levels of spread of other viral diseases. And preventive measures and quarantine give their results, and if you adhere to them, then the outbreak can be slowed down and ultimately stopped. In addition, some of the previously infected have already recovered.


For example, according to UNAIDS (for 2018), in the world live about 37,9 million people with HIV or AIDS.

Given that the Earth’s population is 7 people, 784 million is 015% (that is, 440 people for every 37,9 thousand of the population).

There are about 1,2 million peoplesays the site Office for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. They make up 0,36% of the population. Moreover, according to management experts, 1 out of 8 infected in the United States does not know about its status.

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Estimated World Health Organization, every year about 10 million people get tuberculosis in the world, despite the availability and widespread use of the vaccine. It is difficult to find statistics on the total number of people with tuberculosis in the world, but even if we take the annual level of infection, then the disease is diagnosed every year in 0,128% of the world's population. In the US, this figure is much lower due to effective treatment and preventive measures. In 2018 in the country It revealed 9 new cases of tuberculosis, this is 025% of the population.


Influenza in the world annually gets sick about a billion people, that's about 14% of the world's population. In the United States, the annual number of cases is from 9 to 45 million, writes CDC. This is 2,7-13,5% of the total population.


Medium infection rate of these diseases also suggests that the panic due to the coronavirus is exaggerated, since we have already encountered a more infectious and no less dangerous virus, which we are still struggling with, but without excessive restrictions and panic:

  • COVID-19: an average of 1 person can infect 2 to 3,11 people.
  • Seasonal Flu: one patient can infect 1,3 people.
  • HIV: one person with HIV can infect 3,6-3,7 people.

In tuberculosis, everything is very dependent on the country and conditions. In addition, the latent forms of tuberculosis are carried by tens of millions of people on the planet who have picked up a stick, but the disease has not developed, so the average rate of infectiousness is not calculated here.


As for the mortality rate of these diseases, COVID-19 there is no exact data yet, as the epidemic is still developing. Scientists call the figure from 1 to 3,5%. In influenza, this indicator averages 0,1%, but given the prevalence of the disease, this translates into frightening numbers:

Tuberculosis is among the top 10 causes of death in the world, ranking first in deaths from infectious diseases. It kills lives every year about 1,5 million people. Tuberculosis Mortality estimated at 7-35% depending on the country.

On the subject: Until 2021: US government prepares for 18 months of coronavirus crisis

With HIV, things are a little more complicated, because as such, it does not cause death. Estimated UNAIDSIn 2018, between 570 and 000 million people died from HIV-related diseases in the world. These are huge numbers. But at the same time, the mortality rate from HIV-related diseases decreased by 1,1% compared to 33. Humanity is gradually taking control of a dangerous virus from which there is no vaccine, and this is an encouraging factor.

Based on these data and the extensive preventive measures taken by each of the affected countries because of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus, there is reason to believe that humanity has encountered a new dangerous virus, however, like all previous ones, we will be able to take control of it and return to normal rhythm of life. The main thing now is to support governments, without violating the quarantine conditions and taking reasonable measures to protect their health.

Read the latest information about the new coronavirus, methods of protection against infection and the treatment methods of COVID-19 in our special project link.

statistics Educational program coronavirus Special Projects COVID-19

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