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COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate Drops to Lowest Level

According to CDC data through June, the overall case-fatality rate for COVID-19 has dropped to 0.59%.

What is case fatality rate?  According to Rich Condit a virologist and emeritus Professor at the University of Florida, “CFR is the ratio of the number of deaths divided by the number of confirmed cases of disease.”  Another metric used is infection fatality rate.  According to Condit, “IFR is the ratio of deaths divided by the number of actual infections with SARS-CoV-2.”  He adds, “because a large number of infections with SARS-CoV-2 result in mild or even asymptomatic disease, the IFR is likely to be significantly lower than the CFR.”

In October of 2020 The BMJ (British Medical Journal) one of the world’s top four most cited general medical journals,[2] published an article that cited John Ioannidis a Stanford University professor of medicine, epidemiology and population health, statistics and biomedical data science who published a paper finding the COVID-19 Infection Fatality Rate could be as low as 0.23%
Then in May of 2021 the European Journal of Clinical Investigation published an article by Ioannidis in which he found “the available evidence suggests average global IFR of ~0.15%.”[3]

Regardless of which measure is cited, the number continues to shrink as the level of Americans who are either vaccinated or have developed natural immunity rises.

Where Does Iowa Rank in Terms of Vaccinations?

According to August 1 CDC data, 89.4% of Iowans age 65 and over have received at least one dose the COVID-19 vaccination.  65.7% of Iowans age 18 and over have received at least one dose of the vaccination.  There is no CDC data on the number of Americans who have contracted and recovered from COVID-19 and as a result have acquired natural immunity and have chosen not to get the vaccine.  Additionally, there is no data on the number of Americans who have some level of T cell reactivity against COVID-19 and as result have some level of immunity but have not received the vaccine. (covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker)

The BMJ reported last September “At least six studies have reported T cell reactivity against SARS-CoV-2 in 20% to 50% of people with no known exposure to the virus.”5 6 7 8 9 10  In a study of donor blood specimens obtained in the US between 2015 and 2018, 50% displayed various forms of T cell reactivity to SARS-CoV-2.5 11

Hospitalizations of School Age Children in the U.S. Due to COVID-19

According to the CDC[4], since the week ending March 7, 2020 through the week ending July 21, 2021 the percentage of total COVID-19 associated hospitalizations for children age 5-17 is just 1.1%.  For just the week ending July 31, 2021 the percentage of total COVID-19 associated hospitalizations for children age 5-17 is 1.4%.

School Mask Mandates Have No Effect on Lower COVID-19 Case Rates

In public remarks on Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis referenced a study conducted by researchers Emily Oster, Rebecca Jack, Clare Halloran, John Schoof, and Diana McLeod on mask mandates in schools.  They looked at staff and student COVID-19 case rates in Florida, New York, and Massachusetts during the 2020-2021 school year.  The researchers found that there is no correlation between mask mandates and lower COVID-19 case rates.  Instead they found, “all rates are lower in the spring, after teacher vaccination is underway.”[5]

Coincidentally a sparsely attended rally organized by the Iowa Democratic Party was held at the State House in Des Moines by Iowans calling on the Governor and Legislators to overturn the law passed in May which banned mask mandates in schools.  Below is a picture of the rally 25 minutes after its scheduled start time:

[1] https://www.virology.ws/2020/04/05/infection-fatality-rate-a-critical-missing-piece-for-managing-covid-19/

[2] https://www.bmj.com/company/the-story-of-bmj-2/

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33768536/

[4] https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/covidnet/COVID19_5.html

[5] https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.05.19.21257467v1

Author: John Wills