Posts Tagged ‘permanent heart damage’

It is no longer 1% mortality rate in Covid-19 pandemics: It is the rate of how many will die shortly after being affected

Posted on: July 22, 2020

Updated July 13, 2020. Professional Writer

There are two problems with this question.

1. It neglects the law of large numbers; and
2. It assumes that one of two things happen: you die or you’re 100% fine.

The US has a population of 328,200,000. If 1% of the population dies, that’s 3,282,000 people dead.

Three million people dead would monkey wrench the economy no matter what.

That more than doubles the number of annual deaths all at once.

The second bit is people keep talking about deaths.

Deaths, deaths, deaths. Only one percent die! Just one percent! One is a small number! No big deal, right?

What about the people who survive the affliction?

For every one person who dies:

• 19 more require hospitalization.
• 18 of those will have permanent heart damage for the rest of their lives.
• 10 will have permanent lung damage.
• 3 will have strokes.
• 2 will have neurological damage that leads to chronic weakness and loss of coordination.
• 2 will have neurological damage that leads to loss of cognitive function.

So now all of a sudden, that “but it’s only 1% fatal!” becomes:

• 62,358,000 hospitalized.
• 59,076,000 people with permanent heart damage.
• 32,820,000 people with permanent lung damage.
• 9,846,000 people with strokes.
• 6,564,000 people with muscle weakness.
• 6,564,000 people with loss of cognitive function.

That’s the thing that the folks who keep going on about “only 1% dead, what’s the big deal?” don’t get.

The choice is not “ruin the economy to save 1%.”

If we reopen the economy, it will be destroyed anyway. The US economy cannot survive everyone getting COVID-19.

Wow, this answer has really blown up. Many people are asking about the sources, so here’s the basic rundown:

This model assumes that the question’s hypothetical is correct and the fatality rate is 1%.

It also assumes for the sake of argument 100% infection.

(In reality, neither of these is a perfect match to reality. The infection rate will never hit 100%, but the fatality rate in a widespread infection is likely to be greater than 1%, because health care services will be overwhelmed.)

The statistics I used in this answer were compiled from a number of different sources.

I spent quite a bit of time writing the answer. Unfortunately, I don’t have my search history in front of me, so I’ll attempt to re-compile them.

Some of the sources include:

What we know (so far) about the long-term health effects of Covid-19

Physicians have also reported an increase in inflammation of and damage to the heart muscle in Covid-19 patients. One study published in March found that out of 416 hospitalized Covid-19 patients, 19% showed signs of heart damage.

Another study from Wuhan published in January found 12% of Covid-19 patients showed signs of cardiovascular damage. Other studies have since found evidence of myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle that can cause scarring, and heart failure in Covid-19 patients.

Now, physicians warn that Covid-19 survivors may experience long-lasting cardiac damage and cardiovascular problems, which could increase their risk for heart attack and stroke. Doctors also warn Covid-19 could worsen existing heart problems.

What We Know About the Long-Term Effects of COVID-19

“Some of the data that we’re getting now from the China studies, one study that was just published in JAMA Neurology showed that 36.4% of patients had neurologic issues,” said Dr. Sheri Dewan, neurosurgeon at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, Illinois. “One of the review articles that came out at the end of February discussed the possibility of virus traveling into the olfactory neurons, through the olfactory bulb, and into the brain.”

“Holes in the lung likely refers to an entity that has been dubbed ‘post-COVID fibrosis,’ otherwise known as post-ARDS [acute respiratory distress syndrome] fibrosis,” said Dr. Lori Shah, transplant pulmonologist at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

ARDS occurs when fluid builds up in tiny air sacs in the lungs called alveoli. This reduces oxygen in the bloodstream and deprives the organs of oxygen which can lead to organ failure.

Post-COVID fibrosis, according to Shah, is defined as lung damage that’s irreversible and can result in severe functional limitations from patients, such as cough, shortness of breath, and need for oxygen. […]

According to The Lancet, in a piece titled, “Pulmonary fibrosis secondary to COVID-19: A call to arms?,” the first series of hospitalized patients in Wuhan, China showed that 26% required intensive care and 61% of that subset developed ARDS.

What we know (so far) about the long-term health effects of Covid-19

Physicians report that patients hospitalized for Covid-19 are experiencing high rates of blood clots that can cause strokes, heart attacks, lung blockages, and other complications, Parshley reports.

For instance, physicians are seeing an uptick in strokes among young patients with Covid-19.

The blood clots also can travel to other organs, leading to ongoing health problems.

For instance, pulmonary embolisms, which occur when the clots block circulation to the lungs, can cause ongoing “functional limitations,” like fatigue, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and discomfort when performing physical activity, Parshley reports.

Similarly, blood clots in the kidneys can cause renal failure, which can cause life-long complications.

Heart damage

Physicians have also reported an increase in inflammation of and damage to the heart muscle in Covid-19 patients. One study published in March found that out of 416 hospitalized Covid-19 patients, 19% showed signs of heart damage.

Another study from Wuhan published in January found 12% of Covid-19 patients showed signs of cardiovascular damage. Other studies have since found evidence of myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle that can cause scarring, and heart failure in Covid-19 patients.

Now, physicians warn that Covid-19 survivors may experience long-lasting cardiac damage and cardiovascular problems, which could increase their risk for heart attack and stroke. Doctors also warn Covid-19 could worsen existing heart problems.

The numbers in this answer were made from extrapolations about percentages of COVID-19 long-term effects reported in a range of studies on Google Scholar, assuming a hypothetical 100% US infection rate and a 1% fatality rate.

Of course, in reality, a high infection rate would cause the mortality and comorbidity rates to skyrocket, so if anything, these numbers are conservative.