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Coronavirus and previous pandemics


The Greenville Standard


As of Monday, March 30 at 4:30 p.m., there have been 780,336 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID 19) worldwide and 37,551 deaths.

For the United States, there were 160,288 confirmed cases with 2,953 deaths according to

In Alabama, there were 921 confirmed cases with six deaths according to the Alabama Department of Health.

Butler County has one confirmed case.

The overall mortality rate is 3.4% according to the World Heath Association (WHO), but rates may be higher according to other data.

For those with health issues, which include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, hypertension, and cancer the mortality rates are as follows:

Cardiovascular disease – 13.2%

Diabetes – 9.2%

Chronic respiratory disease – 8.0%

Hypertension – 8.4%

Cancer – 7.6%

No pre-existing conditions – 0.9%

The mortality rate from COVID 19 for various age groups based on current estimates is as follows:

80+ years old – 14.8%

70-79 years old – 8.0%

60-69 years old – 3.6%

50-59 years old – 1.3%

40-49 years old – 0.4%

30-39 years old – 0.2%

20-29 years old – 0.2%

10-19 years old – 0.2%

0-9 years old – no fatalities

The most common symptoms of COVID 19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and muscle pain/fatigue.

If you suspect you might have COVID 19, “call ahead” to alert your medical professional so they can protect themselves.

As a comparison for mortality rates from other viruses, SARS was 9.6%, MERS was 34%, and the Swine Flu 0.02%.

Throughout human history pandemics have cause havoc among populations of countries.

Malaria ranks as possibly the number one killer with an estimated 50 billion deaths worldwide. WHO estimates that 216 million people suffered from the disease in 2016.

Tuberculosis is second with an estimated one billion deaths.

Smallpox, which had a fatality rate of 30%, is estimated to have killed 300 – 500 million people in the twentieth century alone.

The Black Death (Bubonic Plague) killed an estimated 240 million people since 500 A.D.

The Spanish Flu is estimated to have caused 40 -50 million deaths from 1918 – 1919.

Cholera is suspected to have caused 40 million deaths since the 1800’s, mostly in China, Russia, and India.

AIDS has killed 36 million people since the disease was first found in the early 1980’s.

As with all viruses, remember to wash your hands often, practice social distancing, and help those who are at high risk.

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