Comparing COVID-19 with SARS and MERs

I don’t remember a worldwide epidemic (or global epidemic panic) like this in my lifetime. I heard of MERS and SARS but don’t remember there being a worldwide shut-down of things like is going on with COVID-19.

I tried to find some comparison info, and this article is informative.

In simple numbers, SARS began in 2002 and there have been no more cases since 2004. There were 8,098 reported cases and 774 deaths.

MERS began in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Since then there have been 2,494 reported cases and 858 deaths.

While COVID-19 appears to have a much lower mortality rate than SARS or MERS, it’s hard to know for sure because it’s still spreading. So far the mortality rate is 3.4%.

It’s also more widespread. So far it’s in 60 countries, has infected more than 99,000 people and there have been more than 3,300 fatalities.

So I guess this might be the largest worldwide epidemic in my lifetime.


Comparing COVID-19 with SARS and MERs — 2 Comments

  1. I’ve been pretty fascinated about how the concern over this virus is so dependent on our first-world perspective. Globally, about 40,000 people will die from dengue fever this year, far more than are likely to die from COVID-19. Yet since those deaths are mostly in third world countries and it happens every year, dengue isn’t significant news.

    My take is that the world reaction to COVID-19 is hugely out of proportion to the actual threat, largely driven by media hype and grandstanding politicians.

  2. Well, we in the U.S. are in a first-world that acts like a Third World… This could have been (probably) curbed by taking drastic measures immediately like China has done. In the U.S. it shouldn’t have even gotten here. But NO measures were taken, and many still aren’t. It’s each man for himself. Especially older people (like me) will be in the group to fall first. I am holed up in my home, but am disgusted by the lack of protocol here. Others may disagree.

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