One in 100 people infected with the coronavirus will die. A study from the National Epidemiology Center of the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) published in the magazine « British Medical Journal»Which concludes that fatality, that is, the proportion of deaths among people infected with SARS-CoV-2 infection in Spain is between 0.8% and 1.1%. .
The work estimates that the lethality of the infection during the first epidemic wave was higher among men than in women, and that it is higher after the age of 50, standing between 12% and 16% in men over 80 years.
The study has reviewed information from more than 61,000 participants from the first three rounds of the study ENE-COVID, which allow estimating the number of infected people in our country, and with the death figures obtained by combining data from the reindeer and the excess deaths estimated by the MoMO. [RENAVE ofrecen información sobre las defunciones entre los casos de covid -19 diagnosticados y notificados por las comunidades autónomas y MoMo proporciona información del exceso de muertes durante la pandemia, sin poder distinguir cuáles están causadas directamente por el nuevo virus y cuáles son consecuencia de otros factores asociados o no a la situación sufrida durante la pandemia].
Globally, a fatality of 0.8% has been calculated (less than one person died for every 100 infected people). This percentage arises from the analysis of about 20,000 deaths in non-institutionalized people, out of a total of 2.3 million infected people included in the research (from the start of the pandemic until July).
The 0.8% lethality of the estimated infection rises to 1.1% if it refers to excess deaths (from all causes) during the pandemic.
Regarding age, the case fatality rate in patients over 80 years of age, the case fatality rate is between 11.6% and 16.4% in men, and between 4.6% and 6.5% in women. But in young people the numbers are much lower.
The authors comment that the lethality of the new coronavirus infection estimated from the confirmed cases could underestimate the real figure, while that obtained using the MoMo would overestimate the lethality of the infection, since it assumes that all the excess mortality that occurs produced in infected people is directly due to the coronavirus.
With these figures, the estimated probability of dying in people infected by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is higher than that estimated for other respiratory viruses, such as influenza, which is about ten times lower.
The results confirm some data already observed throughout the pandemic: the disease is more severe in older people and men are at greater risk of dying after being infected by SARS-CoV-2.
The authors consider that the special attention that older people deserve, who are the most vulnerable, should not result in a relaxation of measures and precautions among the rest of the population, since the high rates of transmission and the high percentage of susceptibility to infection can continue to cause significant numbers of deaths in the general population and in these groups . It should be remembered that in Spain most of the elderly live at home or with their family.
Among the limitations of the research, it is worth mentioning that The more than 300,000 people who live in residences in Spain are excluded from the analysis.
Since the ENE-COVID study includes a representative sample of Spanish households, the estimation of the lethality of the infection is restricted to this same area; that is, it does not include the population of nursing homes, in which the epidemic has been much more intense, both in Spain and in other countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.
The results, the researchers conclude, provide essential epidemiological information to improve the design of public health policies aimed at controlling the pandemic and has been possible thanks to the great response that the National Sero-Epidemiological Study ENE-COVID has had in the population Spanish.