The challenges in reporting Covid-19.
When one looks at the Government Covid-19 numbers released on July 25, 2020, there is an apparent problem, because the virus doesn’t change when it crosses state lines. Why does New York State have a 7.8% fatality rate and Florida only a 1.4% fatality rate?
First: How are the fatality rates being reported in different states? There are differences in that New York had less information on the virus and how to treat the worst affected. Florida had New York’s example to learn from and better treat the worst affected.
Second: Florida has taken a different tack as to how they define a fatality from Covid-19, then New York. If someone has end-stage cancer, for instance, they are not listed as Covid-19 as the main reason for their death, but the cancer. Covid-19 is a mitigating factor.
New York reported Covid-19 as the immediate cause. Also, there is the issue that Florida is not counting the second test taken if a person tests positive twice, but Florida is reporting into the total numbers if someone tests repeatedly as negative. Testing is now more plentiful, but still not completely accurate. Also, the lag times to receive results have grown, which could also skew the overall results. So how does this work when the numbers are compared state by state in a side by side comparison?
Although the Wisconsin numbers are small, the published rate of death at 1.9%. This is compatible with Florida’s 1.4 % rate. If one assumes that the Florida rate is accurate, then with New York State having (32,409 deaths) how many people in New York would have had to be infected to produce those deaths? The answer is 2.3 million cases of the 19.8 million residents or 11.6% of the population of the State of New York must have become infected and not the just the 412,889 listed as so far confirmed. This seems likely because the virus spreads easily and during the early stages when it hit New York the awareness was not there, and precautions were not in place.
The ability to now test the number of confirmed cases slowly has increased and as the number of confirmed cases goes up it is more accurately reflecting the true number of infected people, which drives the percent dying down toward 1.2%. With 0.86% of the US population dying every year being the normal average in the US, if one gets the virus one’s chances on average of dying from the Coronavirus currently appears to be 1.4 times greater than dying this year than from all other causes combined, but even that number may go down with the advancing ability across the country to test and confirm milder and asymptomatic cases.
Some Data accumulated about COVID19