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Terrifying Report Claims Coronavirus Could Kill Over 4 Million Americans

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:39 PM
Ayush Singh
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:39 PM
  • A research report published by Imperial College states different scenarios in which coronavirus could affect the U.S.
  • The Imperial College team plugged infection and death rates from China and Italy into a simulator and came out with terrifying numbers.
  • The report states that a vaccine is 18 months away. Complete lockdowns and quarantines will help keep the death rates low. But the question remains if Americans can live like this until the entire population is inoculated against the virus.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many countries to their knees . Now, the virus has its eyes on the U.S. A damning report published by the Imperial College  claims that coronavirus has the potential to kill over 4 million Americans before we have a vaccine.

Coronavirus cases
As China’s pandemic slows, infections have spiked around the world. | Source: Johns Hopkins CSSE 

The published report plugged the data obtained by the outbreaks in China, Italy and South Korea into an epidemic simulation software. The report uses these data to predict what could unfold in the U.S.

The research team analyzed three ways the U.S. could counter the spread.

Scenario 1: U.S. Takes Coronavirus Lightly

The first scenario where the U.S. lets the disease spread and imposes no measures. As per the study, going down this road would infect 81% of the population.

The study assumes a mortality rate of 0.9%. And since coronavirus is much more fatal for older people, the research predicts that 4% to 8% of Americans over the age of 70 will die.

Coronavirus U.S. U.K.
The steep rise of COVID-19’s spread in the U.K. and U.S. | Source: Imperial College report 

Worse, as the number of cases grow, it would pose tremendous strain on healthcare services. Reportedly, as many as 20% of the people contracting coronavirus require hospitalization . And many patients with severe symptoms need to be put on ventilators.

So, if the virus is not contained aggressively, the U.S. will face a grave shortage of ventilators and workers  who operate them. Without proper medical care, the death count can reach 4.4 million.

Scenario 2: Mitigation

In the second simulation, Imperial College researchers assumed that the U.S. takes a stricter approach in dealing with the pandemic.

In this scenario, all symptomatic cases are ordered into isolation. People older than 70 years are asked to practice social distancing.

Flatten the curve
Flattening the curve would reduce the number of fatalities. | Source: NBC News 

This measure would put less strain on the medical system than scenario one. Even then, the need for ventilators would be eight times more than the existing capacity of the U.S.

Under this scenario, COVID-19 could claim 1.1 American million lives in the next six months.

Scenario 3: Complete Suppression of Coronavirus

The third simulation assumes that the U.S. takes stringent measures to contain the spread. Under this assumption, the U.S. isolates all symptomatic cases and quarantines their family members. Social distancing is imposed on all ages, and all public gatherings are shut down.

COVID-19 Suppression
Suppression is the best way to stop COVID-19. | Source: Twitter 

This strategy will need to be implemented in full force until a vaccine is developed and made available to the entire population. If the measures are lifted even for a few weeks, a contagion could occur again .

But the suppression measures seem idealistic. A potential vaccine could be 18 months away . Since the U.S. is already drowning it debt, shutting down the economy for 18 months doesn’t seem like a viable option either.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.