Dr. Atlas: The Critical Case for Ending the Wuhan Virus ShutdownMay 18, 2020
From The Hill:
- There has been a failure to educate the public that the overall fatality rate is not only far lower than previously thought but is extremely low in almost everyone other than the elderly. In Detroit’s Oakland County, 77 percent of deaths were of those over 70; 92 percent were of people over 60, similar to what was noted in New York and worldwide. While somehow escaping attention, updated infection fatality rates (IFR) are less than or equal to seasonal flu for those under 60 in France, Spain and the Netherlands. Less than 1 percent of deaths occur in the absence of underlying conditions. Of the exceptionally rare deaths in children in New York City, only one tragic case out of 15,756 COVID-19 deaths – 0.006 percent – was a child without a known underlying condition. Similarly, the likelihood of serious disease requiring hospitalization is far higher for older people and those with certain underlying conditions. In New York City, the hospitalization rate for those over age 75 is approximately 10 times that for ages 18- 44, and more than 100 times that for those under 18. Under 1 percent of New York City hospitalizations have been patients under 18.
- There has been a failure to clarify to parents the truth about the extremely low risk to children, and that has accompanied a gross failure to offer a rational medical perspective regarding schools reopening. Younger, healthier people have virtually zero risk of death and an extremely small risk of serious disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that of 54,861 U.S. deaths from COVID-19, only 12, or 0.02 percent, have been in children under 14. That compares to CDC estimates that childhood deaths from influenza are nearly 600 in the most recent data. Of 15,756 deaths in New York City, only eight, or 0.05 percent, have been in those under 18, a pattern confirmed globally. In France, the fatality rate estimated for those under 20 is close to zero, at 0.001 percent; in Spain, it’s similar.
In children, despite exceptionally rare cases, COVID-19 is not a significant risk — even compared to influenza. The CDC stated on May 15 that “for children (0-17 years), COVID-19 hospitalization rates are much lower than influenza hospitalization rates at comparable time points during recent influenza seasons.” A May 11 study of 46 North American pediatric hospitals in JAMA Pediatrics put forth the appropriate medical perspective from the data: 1.) “the overall burden of COVID-19 infection in children remains relatively low compared with seasonal influenza”; 2.) “the severity of illness in infants and children with COVID-19 (is) far less than that documented in adults”; and 3.) “our data indicate that children are at far greater risk of critical illness from influenza than from COVID-19.”