Every day we are bombarded with news of the death toll from COVID-19 around the world. Millions of people around the world have been advised to keep social distancing and stay home, wash their hands and wear masks in public places.
However, there are a large number of people recovering from this disease. We discuss the extent of COVID-19 recovery in relation to the strategy used by various countries to combat this deadly virus.
What is the Recovery Rate?
Recovery rate is the number of people who have recovered from a disease. Experts say it’s difficult to assess the recovery rate as 25 to 50 percent of people do not show symptoms of the COVID-19 virus infection.
We estimated the recovery rate from COVID-19 worldwide and in some specific countries based on the real-time tracker of the Johns Hopkins University (see table). According to the data provided as of April 11, over 1, 72 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection and 104,800 people died from the disease in the world. As estimated, about 390,000 people have recovered from the infection worldwide. This represents about 22.6 percent of the recovery rate.
However, the actual recovery rate remains uncertain for several reasons. Many people do not show symptoms of COVID-19 or do not get tested at all. Some people may get negative test results. In other cases, people may recover, but do not report it to the hospital. Therefore, the recovery rate may differ from what was estimated.
Recovery rates are higher in countries that used aggressive measures and had the highest levels of population testing, such as China and South Korea, 94 percent and 69 percent, respectively.
Table. Statistics of COVID-19 cases as of 04/11/2020 (Johns Hopkins University‘s real-time tracker)
In many countries, the lack of adequate testing also played a decisive role in the death toll. Since many countries did not apply strict measures, as soon as this disease spread, more and more people became infected.
Experts say up to 70 percent of the world’s population will get infected by a coronavirus. It is currently difficult to predict the spread of the disease and the outcomes.
What is Herd immunity?
Herd immunity happens when a large percentage of the population becomes immune to infection through immunity against infection or through vaccination. Those who are not infected or have not been vaccinated become immune to infection. This is called herd immunity. Smallpox and polio were eradicated as a result of herd immunity.
In the light of the new coronavirus, some countries like the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Sweden, initially introduced a strategy to develop “herd immunity” by allowing the virus to spread among the population. Scientists say that in the case of the UK, this requires at least 60 percent of the population to be infected.
According to the CDC, some people should not get certain vaccines because of a weakened or compromised immune system, age, pregnancy, allergies, and some chronic diseases.
However, worried that an unpredictable strategy could lead to a large number of casualties among the population, the UK government has changed the strategy advising social distancing and self-isolation.
Sweden to Develop Herd Immunity
Sweden remains the only country that has not introduced strict measures and social distances, as in the rest of Europe. The government closed universities and high schools, banned gatherings of more than 500 and advised people who are sick and older than 70 to stay home.
The Swedish government has used the approach recommended by the country’s chief epidemiologist Tegnell to implement a broad immunity strategy against COVID-19. The country has taken some premature measures but has not implemented quarantine, as elsewhere.
The government advised people to take individual responsibility to stop the spread of the disease. The country’s prime minister urged people to support local businesses by going out and ordering takeaways.
Swedish scientists are worried about the government approach and warn that the herd immunity strategy is similar to “playing the Russian roulette with the Swedish population”.
As of April 11, around 10,151 cases of COVID-19 and 381 deaths were recorded. This represents about 4 percent of the recovery rate (see table below). The near future should show how many Swedes will be affected by this disease and develop immunity for the rest of the population.
Diagnostics of COVID-19
The countries with the highest mortality rates from COVID-19 struggled with patient care due to the lack of medical equipment such as ventilators. The most vulnerable to infection are people with diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung problems.
Symptoms of COVID-19 appear after about 7-14 days. About 80 percent experience mild symptoms. The disease is described as a respiratory viral infection that begins with a sore throat, fever, which then goes into pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
NYC-ICU Dr. Cameron Kyle-Sidell says the diagnosis of a new disease, such as COVID-19, is completely wrong. The doctor believes that this is not viral pneumonia, but an unknown disease, similar to a high-altitude disease, which is manifested by symptoms of oxygen deficiency.
The acute respiratory syndrome due to which patients receive treatment is different, and ventilation / respiratory strategies alone cannot help. Doctors now switch to a different protocol and give patients oxygen (see video).
A number of doctors expressed their concern that COVID-19 is listed as a cause of death for many people who have died from other health complications. Montana physician Dr. Annie Bukachek reports that people who died from multiple health issues had a COVID-19 death certificate. How many people died from COVID-19 remains unknown.
In general, little is known about this new coronavirus, which makes it difficult to predict the outcome of the disease in the near future.
It is imperative to maintain strong immunity and mental health through a positive attitude, exercise, healthy nutrition and environment, meditation, and other available means.
Let us know if you have any questions and we will be happy to help you out. If you have your own opinion or suggestions on this issue, please share them below.