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Fatality rates in CA

Old 06-06-20, 10:23 AM
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RubeRad
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Fatality rates in CA

The L.A. Times maintains an excellent page of statistical visualizations of the state of the pandemic in CA. One statistic that they don't present, however, is fatality rate; likely because they judge they can't assess it accurately (the 'denominator problem').

However it's easy enough to get a rough view by combining other statistics on their page.















So given that these statstics have the death numbers pretty close, but the cases number missing a significant number of un-reported/un-tested cases, I think it's safe to say that the fatality rate for coronavirus for under age 50 is significantly lower than 0.6%.

But past age 50 (probably pretty tightly correlated with general decline in health) the fatality rate rises radically, so that over 80 years old if you are infected, you have probably no better than 1 in 5 chance of dying (if not necessarily dying 'from' the virus, dying of a co-morbidity 'with' the virus) [EDIT: not to imply that a co-morbidity 'doesn't count']

[EDIT: HT to 3alarmer for pointing me to this article, which taught me that proper fatality statistics have to account for incubation lag; you can't divide today's deaths by today's cases, you have to divide it by the smaller number of cases at the time today's deaths got infected. Smaller divisor means larger fatality statistics.

Here is my new spreadsheet, anybody can view it and make their own copy to play around with.

Here is a screenshot.


I continue the discussion in post 135

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Old 06-08-20, 12:43 PM
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I wonder whether statistics are significantly different in other states, say NY?
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Old 06-08-20, 03:14 PM
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If you've had T2D for 10 years, catch the caronavirus, and die, I think that counts as dying of and not with the virus.
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Old 06-08-20, 03:50 PM
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(a) T2D=tuberculosis to death?, and (b) fair enough, I'm just trying to be careful with language and statistics. Which deaths to attribute to coronavirus can get murky.
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Old 06-08-20, 04:26 PM
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Type two diabetes.

How's that re-election campaign going?
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Old 06-08-20, 04:30 PM
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(a) ok thx, and (b) ?? I don't hold any public office
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Old 06-08-20, 04:30 PM
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These numbers are very similar to what I remember of the Chinese numbers from January/February. Perhaps a bit better defined with more data. But, we've known for a long time this disease is very hard on the elderly.

6% of the people account for about 50% of the deaths,
About 15% of the people account for 80% of the deaths.
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Old 06-08-20, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
(a) T2D=tuberculosis to death?, and (b) fair enough, I'm just trying to be careful with language and statistics. Which deaths to attribute to coronavirus can get murky.
There are a lot of chronic illnesses that people live with for years or even decades. Asthma doesnít kill a lot of people, it causes them grief but itís usually manageable. Itís a risk factor for covid because asthma means chronic inflammation of the lungs, which is part of what covid does to people so starting from a bad place leads to more bad outcomes. So if a person who has asthma and has dealt with it for most of their life into adulthood catches the coronavirus and dies, it wasnít the asthma that did it.

Of course covid kills more people with risk factors for dying of covid. All diseases work like that. The flu kills people too, as Iíve heard; theyíre usually old and have other conditions, and they get counted as flu deaths. Why wouldnít people who had and managed co-morbidities and then were killed by covid be counted in the same manner?

Something that gets murky is comparing how many people died in March and April of 2019 vs 2020 because that includes people who couldn't get an ICU bed when they needed one. Like maybe somebody in a car accident who didn't even have the virus. That's murky because they wouldn't have died if it wasn't for the virus, but it isn't what killed them ... I guess you could say in cases like that the virus was a risk factor for life.
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Old 06-08-20, 04:49 PM
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Why do I feel like y'all are ganging up on me? I'm not trying to say that co-morbidities don't count. Rather I was trying head off, if anybody were to quibble on precise cause of death, that yes I understand there are things that can be said in that space, but potato potahto they died with the virus.
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Old 06-08-20, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
These numbers are very similar to what I remember of the Chinese numbers from January/February.
I don't know how far we can trust Chinese statistics. Looking at these graphs, did China really have literally 0 new cases and exactly 2 deaths since Apr 22?

Were they more honest/transparent in those early stages?
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Old 06-08-20, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I don't know how far we can trust Chinese statistics. Looking at these graphs, did China really have literally 0 new cases and exactly 2 deaths since Apr 22?

Were they more honest/transparent in those early stages?
Dont believe any numbers that come out of China. They routinely lie about GDP, crime rates, everything.
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Old 06-08-20, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Of course covid kills more people with risk factors for dying of covid. All diseases work like that.
Of course the principle is obvious, but I hadn't seen any graphs that demonstrated how radical the difference is in this case.

All of those fatality rates are likely overestimates because of the denominator problem, but I would bet the denominator problem is least significant for the oldest age groups, which will make the differences even more stark.

By which I mean, the younger somebody is, the more likelihood somebody can get the infection, and never know it -- or suspect it, but ride it out alone ok and it never gets tested so it never gets included in an official count of cases. Who knows, maybe the full-population number for 35-49 is really 0.3% instead of 0.6%. Or maybe it's 0.4% or 0.5%. I don't know if anybody has the data to say confidently. But I bet there are way fewer 80+ cases slipping under the radar, and the true fatality number for that oldest bracket is probably north of 20%.
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Old 06-08-20, 05:11 PM
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The statistic of interest for me was that on average, COVID is taking about 12-13 years from victim's lives (forgot which thread it was posted in). That is long enough so that I would certainly attribute that death to COVID. Not even close.

BTW, I've also read that the big two comorbidities are heart disease and obesity. They others considerably less so than initially thought. But there are a LOT of people of all ages with those comorbidities, particularly in the US.
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Old 06-08-20, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Why do I feel like y'all are ganging up on me? I'm not trying to say that co-morbidities don't count. Rather I was trying head off, if anybody were to quibble on precise cause of death, that yes I understand there are things that can be said in that space, but potato potahto they died with the virus.
Then I misunderstood what you were saying earlier when you said it gets murky. Sorry for pulling this the wrong way then.
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Old 06-08-20, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by skookum View Post
Dont believe any numbers that come out of China. They routinely lie about GDP, crime rates, everything.
The national fatality rate in the US is currently 5.67%, and in California, it is only 3.52%.

Dont believe any numbers that come out of California. They routinely lie about GDP, crime rates, everything.
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Old 06-08-20, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
The national fatality rate in the US is currently 5.67%, and in California, it is only 3.52%.

Dont believe any numbers that come out of California. They routinely lie about GDP, crime rates, everything.
The case fatality rates are not really solid numbers for the much discussed denominator problem. Most of the stuff I've read suggest the infection fatality rate is in the range of 0.75 to 1.0%.
What are we arguing about, again?
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Old 06-08-20, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I wonder whether statistics are significantly different in other states, say NY?
As of today, CA is 4633/130930=3.54%, NY is 30374/378097=8.03%

But I have no idea to what extent those statistics are uncomparable because of different testing rates, counting methodology, etc.

The analogous NY Times page is way less informative than LA Times page, so no way to tell whether demographics are comparable in NY or not. Anybody know of data from other sources?
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Old 06-08-20, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
The national fatality rate in the US is currently 5.67%, and in California, it is only 3.52%.

Dont believe any numbers that come out of California. They routinely lie about GDP, crime rates, everything.
Or maybe CA got its response right? Or righter than other states? There are state-by-state comparisons that show CA has very small numbers when its largest-state-population is considered.

But then again if you want some VERY small numbers, South Korea with 11814 cases, 273 deaths are you kidding me right now? Clearly even the best US response was not doing it right.
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Old 06-08-20, 05:40 PM
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I was trying to make fun of the assertion that China has to be lying about it.
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Old 06-08-20, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I was trying to make fun of the assertion that China has to be lying about it.
Yeah, okay, but what are we actually arguing about?
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Old 06-08-20, 06:03 PM
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Do we have to be arguing? This is not P&R
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Old 06-08-20, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Do we have to be arguing? This is not P&R
Arguing is okay as long as it is not personal. But what is the problem here? Statistics that are not reliable? We know that.
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Old 06-08-20, 06:35 PM
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Not only is it not personal, we can't even figure out what we are arguing about.

As for China, apart from the initial mid-level-bureaucratic cover-up attempts, they have been surprisingly forthright about this, especially given their 'tendencies' (I am trying not to be political).
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Old 06-08-20, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Not only is it not personal, we can't even figure out what we are arguing about.

As for China, apart from the initial mid-level-bureaucratic cover-up attempts, they have been surprisingly forthright about this, especially given their 'tendencies' (I am trying not to be political).
I have a lot of respect for the scientific and medical people in China. Not for the government. We could have a lively discussion about how forthright they have been, and again this is the government not the people on the ground. But that would be politics and this is not the place for it.

I think we are arguing something about statistics and fatality rates by age, but I'm not sure.
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Old 06-08-20, 07:10 PM
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Maybe look at the CA stats on a county-by-county basis, and by population (deaths/population ratio)? Los Angeles county, with 10 million residents, has half the state's deaths (2000). Neighboring Orange County has 3.3 million people, but only 170 deaths. Riverside County (3 million) has 2X as many deaths as Orange County, but still way below L.A. on a deaths/population ratio. Not sure about the Bay area counties , but I've heard they're lower than L.A. County, too.
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