Avik Roy

Avik Roy



New @FREOPP: There is no request I get more often than to compare the risk of fatality from #COVID19 vs. the flu by age bracket. So I’ve put one together, assuming 150,000 deaths from COVID vs. the 2007-17 average from influenza & pneumonia combined.

@FREOPP Assuming 150k #COVID19 deaths (the IHME mid-range estimate today), children are at much lower risk of dying from COVID vs. influenza or pneumonia. For those over 25, the relative risk is higher of death from COVID. But the *absolute* risk doesn’t get high until age 65:

If you’re looking at the first chart I posted (the one with the blue bars), a longer bar is “good” (i.e., relatively low risk of COVID death vs. influenza or pneumonia). A shorter bar is “bad” (relatively higher risk of COVID death). But absolute risk is most important.

Let me emphasize that this is an estimate, based on 150k U.S. COVID-19 deaths. If there are 300k deaths, all of these relative risk numbers would get divided by 2 (e.g., kids aged 5-14 would be 3.4x more likely to die of flu or pneumonia, not 6.8x more).

For those who prefer the chart the other way—COVID deaths / flu+pneumo—here it is. In this version, the longer bar = higher relative risk of COVID. Shorter bar = flu & pneumonia riskier. Methodology & data sources @FREOPP:

Here’s another way to think about the very low risk to children. Sweden never closed its schools, and yet Sweden has one of the lowest pediatric infection rates in the industrialized world (and exactly one pediatric death from #COVID19).

3 weeks ago, I criticized Texas @GovAbbott for ignoring the data on pediatric risk as it relates to school closures. Today, he & his staff announced that child care & summer school could reopen as of June 1, albeit with limitations (max class size 10).

Another chart from the new @FREOPP article (this one comparing #COVID19 deaths by age bracket to deaths from all other causes, like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, homicide, and unintentional injury.

In that chart, the light blue boxes at the bottom estimate COVID deaths by age bracket if there are 150,000 total deaths in the U.S. The grey-shaded boxes indicate causes of death that are less severe than COVID by age bracket; white/non-shaded boxes = more severe.

To take the 15-24 age bracket as an example: We estimate 161 deaths from #COVID19 in the U.S. for this group, vs. 13,895 from unintentional injury; 5,723 suicides; 5,172 homicides; 1,431 cancer; 949 heart disease; 388 birth defects; 211 diabetes; 189 influenza & pneumonia.

For 35-44 year olds, we estimate 2,660 deaths from #COVID19 in the U.S., vs. 20,975 from unintentional injury; 10,903 cancer; 10,477 heart disease; 7,030 suicide; 3,369 homicide; 2,851 liver disease.

Among those ≥65, #COVID19 would be the 5th leading cause of death at 120,118; behind heart disease (507,118); cancer (422,927); chronic lower respiratory disease (131,002); and cerebrovascular disease eg stroke (121,630). More severe than Alzheimer's Disease (114,883).

Given the overwhelming evidence we have now, as discussed in the @FREOPP post (it's critical to think about #COVID in 3 different buckets: those under 35 (basically fine), those over 75 (nursing homes & assisted living), and those in between (workforce).

We should also take into account the wide regional variation in pandemic severity; in particular, the difference between the NYC metropolitan region / Acela corridor and nearly everywhere else.

It remains astounding, and underappreciated, that 40% of all deaths from #COVID19 in the U.S. have taken place in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

Some of you asked for a better visualization of the relative risk of dying from #COVID19 vs. influenza/pneumonia. Here you go. Orange=greater risk from influenza/pneumonia; blue=greater risk from COVID.

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