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I was thinking of some ways to put the current numbers into perspective and thought of the following example:

Prevalence – The number of existing cases of a disease divided by the total population at a point in time.

24% of men, 22% of women died of CAD in 2015

US population 2018: 327,000,000

COVID-19 Cases; 31,057

COVID-19 Deaths: 390

PREVALENCE: 0.00009498% of US population. The true number will be higher due to asymptomatic individuals and limited testing but as of now the reported cases are a fraction of a fraction of 1%.

Source: CDC and Johns Hopkins  3/22/2020  3:30 p.m.


Incidence – The number of new cases of a disease over a period of time divided by the population at risk.

The estimated annual incidence of heart attacks in the United States is 720,000 new attacks and 335,000 recurrent attacks. Since COVID-19 is within the past 12 months, it will mirror the prevalence at this time when compared on a yearly basis. 


For comparison, look at Heart Disease in the United States

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.

  • One person dies every 37 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.

  • About 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.

  • Heart disease costs the United States about $219 billion each year from 2014 to 2015.3 This includes the cost of health care services, medicines, and lost productivity due to death.


Deaths and Mortality

Data are for the U.S. 2017

  • Number of deaths: 2,813,503

  • Death rate: 863.8 deaths per 100,000 population

  • Life expectancy: 78.6 years

  • Infant Mortality rate: 5.79 deaths per 1,000 live births

Source: CDC

Number of deaths for leading causes of death:

Data are for the U.S. 2017

  • Heart disease: 647,457

  • Cancer: 599,108

  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936

  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201

  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383

  • Alzheimer’s disease: 121,404

  • Diabetes: 83,564

  • Influenza and Pneumonia: 55,672

  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis: 50,633

  • Intentional self-harm (suicide): 47,173

Source: CDC


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