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The virus can cause mild symptoms up to severe respiratory illnesses, including pneumonia and even death. The vast majority of deaths have occurred in people older than 65 years of age and who already had another illness or chronic condition. In contrast, children seem to be less susceptible to the disease, although it is not yet known how they contribute to the transmission of the virus.
Current data places the mortality rate at around 2% (meaning that for every 100 confirmed cases, two people die) although it is still too early to give a figure with certainty. It is believed that the actual mortality rate could be lower than this figure as it is suspected that many cases of COVID have been asymptomatic or produced very mild symptoms and have therefore gone undiagnosed. It could also increase if the virus mutates (so far, none of the variants that have emerged have increased the severity of the disease). In any case, the mortality rate is lower than that of SARS (10%) and higher than that of seasonal flu (which is below 0.1%).
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Substantiated information by:
Antoni TrillaHead of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology
Eduard Vieta PascualPsychiatristPsychiatry and Psychology Head of Department
Gema Maria Lledó IbáñezMédico internistaServicio de enfermedades autoinmunes
Jacobo Sellarés TorresPulmonologistPneumology Department
Josep M. Miró Meda
Josep Maria PeriClinical psychologist
Maica RubinatSpecialist in Sports MedicineGeneral Secretary for Sport and Physical Activity of the Generalitat de Catalunya
Mariona ViolanSpecialist in Sports MedicineGeneral Secretary for Sport and Physical Activity of the Generalitat de Catalunya
Published: 12 March 2020
Updated: 12 March 2020
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