Coronavirus experts explain your chance of dying from the virus

This week, the global coronavirus death toll hit 3,000, leading to widespread panic about the spread of the virus.

With over 36 cases now confirmed in the UK, you may be worried about catching the virus and the effects that this could have on you.

Thankfully, the chance of you catching the virus or dying from it are extremely low, according to the latest estimates by the UK government.

They indicate that between five and 40 coronavirus cases in 1,000 will result in death, with a best guess of nine in 1,000, or about 1%.

Speaking yesterday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the UK government’s ‘very best assessment’ is that the death rate is ‘2% or likely lower.’

However, the death rate varies widely depending on a number of factors, including your age, location and whether or not you already have any underlying medical conditions.


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In the first big analysis of more than 44,000 cases from China, the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention found that the death rates are lowest for under-30s, where there were only eight deaths in 4,500 cases.

At the other end of the spectrum, the fatality rate was almost 15% in over-80s.

Meanwhile, people with diabetes, high blood pressure , or breathing problems were at least five times more likely to die from the virus.

And unfortunately for men, the study also found that men are more likely to die (2.8%) than women (1.7%).

Thankfully, there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of catching the virus.

Speaking to Mirror Online, two doctors have revealed their top tips for avoiding coronavirus, including their advice on face masks, hand sanitiser and public transport.


  • How to avoid coronavirus: Doctors' advice on face masks, hand wash and public transport

Dr Babak Ashrafi, a doctor with Zava, explained that the best way to avoid the virus is regularly washing your hands with soap and water.

He said: “The primary advice is using soap and water to wash your hands – that’s the best way to get rid of bacteria. Hand sanitiser isn’t as good, but is better than nothing, especially if you’ve been out in public.”

If you’re out and about today, you may notice several people wearing face masks, but Dr Ashrafi explained that there’s ‘very little evidence’ these will reduce your risk of catching the virus.

He said: “There’s very little evidence that face masks on sale actually help. The virus can get in the top and bottom and maybe even thought the fibres.

“A tissue would work just as well!”

Meanwhile, Dr Claudia Pastides, a doctor with Babylon Health, explained that taking public transport should be safe, as long as you’re careful.

She explained: “Whenever you are in close contact with other people for a period of time, your risk of catching an infection is increased. This doesn't just apply to coronavirus but to many other viruses and bacteria too.

“However, as far as we currently know, coronavirus is spread by infected people coughing or sneezing out virus-filled droplets.

“So if people cover their mouths and noses with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, instead of using their bare hands and then touching their infected hands against surfaces on the bus or underground – the risk of spreading the infection will be reduced.”

Dr Pastides added that while washing your hands when you’re out and about can be tricky, hand sanitiser can be a great temporary measure.

She added: “If you make sure to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, you're less likely to carry the virus on your hands and transmit it into your body via the mucous membranes of your eyes, nose or mouth.

“Hand sanitiser can be very handy in these situations as it is easier to use when out and about to clean your hands with.”

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