Missouri COVID update: Case-fatality rate keeps dropping, nears 2 percent


A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The COVID-19 case-fatality rate in Missouri has continuously dipped for months now and is approaching 2 percent.

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the state has recorded 63,797 cases of SARS-CoV-2—an increase of 1,267 positive cases from the day before—and 1,325 total deaths as of Thursday, August 13. That’s a case-fatality rate of 2.08 percent.

Please keep in mind that not all cases and deaths recorded since yesterday occurred in the last 24 hours.

For comparative purposes, Missouri’s COVID case-fatality rate was 4.71 percent at the end of June and in mid-May, the case-fatality rate was 5.5 percent. When COVID-19 was beginning to spread across the state in late March, the case-fatality rate was 1.33 percent.

But how do COVID deaths compare to other illnesses, like the flu or even the H1N1 pandemics of 1918 and 2009? It’s a common question.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), preliminary data on the 2018-2019 influenza season in the United States shows an estimated 35,520,883 cases and 34,157 deaths; that would mean a case-fatality rate of 0.09 percent. Case-fatality rates on previous seasons are as follows: 0.136 percent (2017-2018), 0.131 percent (2016-2017), 0.096 percent (2015-2016), and 0.17 percent (2014-2015).

The 1918 H1N1 epidemic, commonly referred to as the “Spanish Flu,” is estimated to have infected 29.4 million Americans and claimed 675,000 lives as a result; a case-fatality rate of 2.3 percent. The Spanish Flu claimed greater numbers of young people than typically expected from other influenzas.

Beginning in January 2009, another H1N1 virus—known as the “swine flu”—spread around the globe and was first detected in the US in April of that year. The CDC identified an estimated 60.8 million cases and 12,469 deaths; a 0.021 percent case-fatality rate.

Interactive Missouri maps show locations of coronavirus cases 

The Missouri DHSS was unable to release new case totals for Saturday, August 8 due to in-house technology upgrades. As a result, the 7-day rolling average will not be available until August 15.

Fewer than half of all reported cases are for individuals 39 years of age and younger. The 20 to 24 age group has 7,247 recorded cases, the highest of all age groups. The 0 to 9 age group has 1,510 reported cases and the 10 to 19 group has 5,922 cases.

The average age of a Missouri COVID-19 patient is 43. The rolling average over the last 7 days is 42 years of age.

More than half of all recorded deaths in the state are for patients 80 years of age and older. There have been no recorded deaths for anyone 19 or younger.

Missouri has administered 811,357 PCR tests for COVID-19 and 92.2 percent of those patients have tested negative. The number of people tested in the last 24 hours is not immediately known.

Additionally, positive cases are up 9.8 percent (per 100,000 people) over the last 7 days.

The state is reporting 882 hospitalizations for COVID-19 as of August 10. This number is subject to a 72-hour delay to ensure that the data are accurate and complete.

If you have additional questions about the coronavirus, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is available at 877-435-8411 (24 hours a day).

As of August 13, the CDC has identified 5,176,018 cases of COVID-19 and 165,148 deaths across all 50 states and 6 U.S.-affiliated jurisdictions, for a national case-fatality rate of 3.19 percent.

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