When a new disease starts to spread, the most pressing questions are: How deadly is this? And how many people are likely to die?

One way to measure the severity of disease is by calculating the case fatality rate, or CFR.

Watch the video above to find out more about how CFR is determined and how this relates to Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

• Keith says:

Diving the number of deaths by the number of active cases falsely lowers the death rate. Doing so falsely assumes that every active case will resolve in recovery without a single death. That is not realistic. The only way to properly calculate the death rate on an ongoing pandemic is to only use the closed cases. Anything else is fools math.

• kkl says:

The question is what is the probability I will die of Clovis-19! This depends on both the transmission rate and the CFR. I can’t find any estimates of the transmission rate.

• Kkl says:

Autocorrect! Covid-19 not Clovis-19.

• Aussie says:

Back on topic, death rates are such a bad idea in calculating death rates it should be shunned as if your swearing. All the older comments here all the way though are worth reading.

Back off-topic
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• Richard Byers says:

13% of a 300,000,000 population is what 3,900,000 dead. Figure a third get it then 1,300,000 dead. This would equal the pale horse in the book of Revelation. And Nancy Pelosie doesn’t want to give Trump the money to develop the vaccine.

• Matt says:

This definition is flawed. The correct definition should be deaths divided the total of deaths plus recoveries. In early days because of the exponential increase new cases significantly outpace recoveries. You’re dividing by new cases but the numerator hasn’t had a chance to catch up to the death toll yet to be associated with those cases. If you look at COVID 19 now Feb 17, you get the 2% number only if dividing by total cases. If you look vs recovered cases, it’s 13%!!

• Sharon says:

Your right about the way it calculates. If just one week of new cases (no deaths from this group yet) is taken out of the calculation it’s near 5%. And that’s assuming all cases still Living in the calculation survive. It’s doubling every 8 days. So even one days fall in new cases is welcome

• Paul Gonsalves says:

I had the same concern with the calculation! I thought this calculation would be common sense, but I guess it’s not. This may be intentional though… as to not increase the spread of mass-panic. I’m not sure, but the people who release the “~2%” number MUST have thought about this…idk

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