According to health authorities, the dead were between 36 and 89 years old.
Since Beijing announced in December the appearance of the new coronavirus, similar to that of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), more than 24,300 people have been infected and 490 people have died in mainland China, according to a latest report released on Wednesday. February 5. The first victim of this new virus was well representative of the people who have died since the start of this viral pneumonia: it was a man, aged over 60, and in poor health.
80% of the victims were aged 60 years or more and 75% already suffered from health problems, said Tuesday the National Health Commission (CNS), based on previous assessments.
97% of victims from Hubei
The death rate stands at 2.1%, the Commission pointed out, which is much lower than that of the SARS (9.6%) which caused the death of 800 people across the planet in 2002-2003 , including 349 in mainland China and nearly 300 in Hong Kong.
More than 97% of the victims of the new virus are from Hubei (center), where a market selling live animals in the provincial capital, Wuhan, would be the epicenter of the epidemic.
The death rate of people infected outside Hubei is only 0.16%, according to the authorities. Two people with the virus died outside of China. A 39-year-old man died in Hong Kong after traveling to Wuhan, and a Chinese tourist from the same city died in the Philippines.
The Commission also announced on Wednesday 892 cases of recovery across the country. Among those discharged from the hospital are young patients, including a 35-year-old man from Shenzhen, a megalopolis in southern China, as well as a 10-year-old boy who traveled to Wuhan. A Beijing television channel announced Sunday that a 9-month-old girl infected in Beijing is recovering.
Among all the confirmed cases of contamination, the youngest person is a 1 month old infant, while the oldest was 90 years old.
What we know about deceased people
Most of the deceased victims are over the age of 60. According to data provided by the health authorities, they were between 36 and 89 years old. At least five were under the age of 60.
The youngest, a 36-year-old man from Wuhan, was hospitalized on January 9 before dying of heart failure two weeks later, Hubei health officials said. They did not specify whether he previously suffered from health problems.
Many people who died already had health problems, including diabetes and high blood pressure, before contracting the coronavirus. And if in China, the temperature is now controlled at airports, bus or train stations, not all coronavirus deaths had fever before their hospitalization, according to the CNS.
“A major concern is the wide range of severity of symptoms that this virus generates,” says Jeremy Farrar, director of the British foundation Wellcome Trust. “It is clear that some people are infected and contagious when they have only very slight symptoms, or no symptoms at all,” he said.