LOS ANGELES - Despite worldwide fears about the novel coronavirus that started in Wuhan, China, and the grim death toll statistics, the truth about the disease may be somewhat different.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the vast majority of cases are mild and can even be asymptomatic.
The WHO says the new strain of coronavirus, called COVID-19, is not as deadly as other strains like SARS and MERS. It’s killed 1,700 people worldwide but more than five times that many people who doctors diagnosed have recovered.
“When I got to the hospital, they did chest x-rays, CAT scan, full bloodwork, and everything came back clear,” says Jerri Jorgensen, who has eleven more days of isolation in a Fukushima hospital room after testing positive for coronavirus on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship. “I have no symptoms. I would not know I even had it if I had not had that swab test.
”The World Health Organization Director-General says 80% of coronavirus cases have been mild, 14% have caused severe disease including pneumonia, 5% of coronavirus patients are critical and 2% of patients have died.
The risk of death increases with age. The WHO is seeing relatively few cases among children.
More research is needed to understand why.