4:35 pm: Mortality rate of COVID-19 climbs
This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (orange)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (green) cultured in the lab.
The mortality rate of COVID-19 is significantly higher than previous estimates, world health officials said. Globally, about 3.4% of confirmed patients have died, said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization. In comparison, the seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected. The WHO officials said last week that the mortality rate of COVID-19 can differ, ranging from 0.7% to up to 4%, depending on the quality of the health-care system where it’s treated. Early in the outbreak, scientists had concluded the death rate was around 2.3%. —Lovelace, Higgins-Dunn