Why are the UK losing so many people to COVID-19?

Discussion in 'Living Room' started by Hetty, 28th Mar, 2020.

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  1. Hetty

    Hetty Well-Known Member

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    I’m looking at the stats on The Guardian for coronavirus infection numbers and deaths. I acknowledge that some of the infected currently in each will die, but comparing deaths and infected numbers:

    Australia has 14 deaths and 3583 infected currently, deaths as a percentage of infected is 0.39%

    In the US, 1711 deaths, 104837 infected, 1.6%

    In the world, 27,762 deaths, 598245 infected, 4.6%. This takes into account Italy, Iran, etc.

    and finally, in the UK, 761 deaths, 14751 infected, 5.15%.

    So I’m wondering, what is happening in the UK?!

    Source: Coronavirus Australia live news: NSW and Victoria consider stage 3 restrictions with more than 3,000 national cases – latest updates
     
  2. Trainee

    Trainee Well-Known Member

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    Italy is 86k odd cases and 9k odd deaths.

    Most likely due to when and who they test. If you only test people who have to go into hospital, for example, the death rate will be much higher than if you tested everyone who came into contact with the person in hospital.
     
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  3. Casteller

    Casteller Well-Known Member

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    The big differences in death rates are due to the number of tests and the type of populations the virus has got into. e.g. in Spain and Italy it has hit elderly populations badly so the rate is higher. Places that test a lot of people reveal a higher number of mild cases so the death rate calculates lower.

    Also UK was late to start implementing lockdowns, they had some bad ideas to start with that they abandoned, but it cost them a bit of time.
     
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  4. hammer

    hammer Well-Known Member

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    We have better testing....it gives us a much clearer picture.
     
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  5. Rolf Latham

    Rolf Latham Inciteful (sic) Staff Member Business Plus Member

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    Both Spain and Italy are tourist hot spots............so way ahead of many places curves

    till recently 4 out of 5 cases in Oz were imports, doesnt take much extrapolation.

    ta
    rolf
     
  6. Hetty

    Hetty Well-Known Member

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    Ah, this makes sense. So the UK must be really under-testing.

    I’ve been following the blog for Australia and haven’t read much about overseas, only what I’ve seen on Facebook.
     
  7. Hetty

    Hetty Well-Known Member

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  8. Trainee

    Trainee Well-Known Member

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    Even with the stats you noted in your first post. World average is 4.6%. The US has 1/6 of the infected with a 1.6% fatality.

    statistically that means some countries have a relatively high death rate. Italy and iran, probably.
     
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  9. Hetty

    Hetty Well-Known Member

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    Doesn’t help that in Iran people are taking some wacky “cures” like drinking methanol! https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/heal...amid-rumours-it-can-cure-coronavirus-c-767571
     
  10. Trainee

    Trainee Well-Known Member

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    There's been wacky stuff everywhere.

    no country can claim superiority in this.
     
  11. Bunbury

    Bunbury Well-Known Member

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    They have a limited testing regime and initially took the strategy of building herd immunity and allowing the virus to run through the population. This changed (the herd immunity bit) when they realised the disastrous consequences. Unfortunately their testing regime is still rather limited.

    Mathematics of life and death: How disease models shape national shutdowns and other pandemic policies

    'Testing now mostly takes place in hospital. People in intensive care units and those with respiratory illness, especially if it is pneumonia, will get tested for Covid-19. When there is a cluster of infections, such as an outbreak in a care home, those people will also be tested.

    The World Health Organization has criticised the approach of countries that are not prioritising testing, with its director general saying “you cannot fight a fire blindfolded … test, test, test”.'


    Testing for coronavirus: what is being done in the UK?
     
    Last edited: 28th Mar, 2020
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  12. HUGH72

    HUGH72 Well-Known Member

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    They are only testing people in hospital, so the actual infection rate is much higher?
     
  13. moridog

    moridog Well-Known Member

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    I suspect smoking increases mortality rates and may possibly impact upon susceptibility. Australia has much lower rates of smoking and even per State/Territory it will differ.
     
  14. berten

    berten Well-Known Member

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    When the testing criteria is "have you been overseas or in contact with a direct known case" you are mostly going to find imported cases.
     
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  15. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    South Korea have had far more tests (per head of population) than Australia, and they started testing early and widely, and so were able to contain it to some extent. Some other countries have started testing much later, or not as much, giving the disease a chance to catch hold (if it has arrived to any extent), but possibly also masking the spread.

    It started taking hold in some countries later, so it's possible that the death rates won't reflect what's really happening for a few weeks.
     
  16. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    This would have to be the case, wouldn't it? Unless more tests are done, we've no idea how many are walking around and don't know they have it, or have already had a mild dose without feeling unwell.
     
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