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WHO Estimates Coronavirus Death Rate At 3.4 Percent — Higher Than Earlier Estimates

The World Health Organization is warning that the novel coronavirus could be far more dangerous than the flu, with a mortality rate of 3.4%. The new estimates come as the U.S. death toll from the virus reaches 9. From a report: The global mortality rate — which includes more than 3,000 deaths — is many times higher than the “mortality rate” of the flu, which is less than 1%. WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that is at least partly because COVID-19 is a new disease, and no one has built up an immunity to it. Still, Tedros reiterated the WHO’s belief that containment was still within reach. “We don’t even talk about containment for seasonal flu,” Tedros said. “It’s just not possible, but it’s possible for COVID-19.” Officials say they have learned the coronavirus is less transmissible than the flu, which is often spread by people who are infected yet don’t have symptoms. That doesn’t seem to be the case for COVID-19, he said. “There are not yet any vaccines or therapeutics, which is why we must do everything we can to contain it.”

Tedros said he’s concerned by shortages of masks, gowns and other equipment needed by healthcare workers to stop the spread of disease “caused by rising demands and hoarding and misuse.” “We can’t stop COVID-19 without protecting our health workers,” said Tedros, noting that prices of surgical masks have increased sixfold.

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