Italy Versus South Korea: Why the High Mortality in Italy?

Epigraph:

Every human life is precious and sacred and saving one is like saving the whole of humanity. (Al Quran 5:32/33)

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Source: CNN

By Kent Sepkowitz, MD, who is an infection control expert at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City. The views expressed in this commentary are his own.

South Korea has an outbreak among youngish, non-smoking women, whereas Italy’s disease is occurring among the old and the very old, many of whom are smokers.

(CNN) As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen, much attention in the US has been given to improving the availability of the diagnostic test.

Though testing is known to effectively reduce the risk of transmission, many experts are beginning to also associate more widespread testing with the statistic of greatest concern — survival from the disease.

The connection seems straightforward. Consider two countries with large outbreaks.
In South Korea, the rate of testing has been quite high (3,692 tests per million people as of March 8), and its mortality among those infected quite low (about 0.6%, or 66 deaths, at last count).

By contrast, Italy tests about 826 people per million and its mortality among those with diagnosed infection is about 10 times higher, with more than 1,000 people dead from the disease.

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Dr. Zia H Shah, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

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Categories: Health, The Muslim Times

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