The 2009 flu infected between 1 and 2 out of every 10 people - .7 to 1.4 billion out of a global population of slightly less than 7 billion. This was more people than the number infected by the Spanish flu. The difference was in the fatality rate. Wikipedia's article says there were between 150K and 575K deaths. Our family know-it-alls who actually studied science and have degrees and get paid for their opinions think the current pandemic has the same transmission rate as the Swine flu, which was much faster than either SARS or Ebola.

They think the fatality figures for the U.S. will be much worse than those in Asia because the government will not be able to compel testing. The data from S. Korea looks good precisely because everyone is being tested. Here the examinations will and should focus on the vulnerable elderly. The range of fatality estimates for the swine flu is nearly 2 times what the estimated infection numbers were. That is because the correlation between deaths and the particular flu were subject to the same variations in the thoroughness of testing. 150,000 to 575,000 people died - a "rate" between .01 and .04 of 1%.


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