Milan University Study puts mortality rates in Italy lower than predictions

(Associated Press video screenshot)

Newly emerging data strongly suggests that the horrific one to three percent death rates being attributed to the global coronavirus pandemic are greatly exaggerated.

One data set collated by researchers from the University of Milan specifically shows that at least five million Italians may suffer from the debilitating virus. This contrasts sharply with the 124,642 Italians who’ve tested positive for the virus.

[T]he real number of COVID-19 cases in the country could be 5,000,000 … according to a study which polled people with symptoms who have not been tested, and up to 10,000,000 or even 20,000,000 after taking into account asymptomatic cases,” Worldometer reported Friday, citing an article from the Italian newspaper la Repubblica.

Published earlier Friday, the original article in Italian revealed that the data was collected between March 27 and March 30 from a sample of 1,000 people between the ages of 18 and 85.

(Source: la Repubblica via Google Translate)

The current death rate, as estimated by the number of Italians who’ve tested positive for the virus versus the number who’ve died (15,362), is 1.23 percent. Were it true that 5, 10 or 20 million Italians have contracted the virus, the death rate would be 0.3, 0.1 percent or 0.07 percent, respectively.

For reference, the death rate for the seasonal flu is roughly .1 percent.

Keep in mind that all this is theoretical, as the researchers didn’t actually test the participants. Rather, they judged them based on their symptoms, some of which however do coincide with the common cold and the flu.

“To estimate the number of ‘real sick,’ respondents were asked if they had had coronavirus-related symptoms in the past three weeks. And therefore headaches, colds, coughs, gastrointestinal disorders, with a specific demand related to fever greater than 38.5 [101.3 degrees Fahrenheit],” a translation of la Repubblica’s report reads.

But while this data isn’t conclusive, it does fit other emerging data sets.

Late last month, the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases published details on a study that’d estimated the real coronavirus death rate to be only 0.66 percent.

The rate was achieved by taking into account milder coronavirus cases, such as those that didn’t require any sort of hospitalization.

These findings also fit with reports that the official death rate has been lower in countries that began coronavirus testing early in the process.

“The low mortality rate in Germany, at just over 1%, is far below its neighboring European countries, and this has been put down to Germany’s decision to implement widespread testing of people suspected of having the virus, as opposed to Italy or the U.K.’s decision to only test symptomatic cases,” CNBC reported Friday.

In a report published Saturday, The Economist further noted that official coronavirus death tolls “may exclude people who died before they could be tested.”

Conversely, official death tolls may “ignore people who succumbed to other causes, perhaps because hospitals had no room to treat them.”

“The latter group has been large in other disasters,” the outlet noted. “For example, when Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in 2017, America recorded only 64 deaths. A study later found that the surge in total deaths was close to 3,000. Many occurred in hospitals that lost power.”

With this in mind, the outlet pointed to another data set from the Italian newspaper L’Eco di Bergamo showing that 82 localities in Italy’s Bergamo province experienced an increase of 2,420 deaths in March 2020 versus March 2019.

Yet “[j]ust 1,140, less than half of the increase, were attributed to COVID-19,” The Economist pointed out.

“Comparable figures can be found across Europe,” the outlet’s report continued. “In Spain El País, a newspaper has published the results of a study by the government’s health research centre, showing that ‘excess’ deaths in the Castile-La Mancha region were double the number attributed to COVID-19. Jean-Marc Manach, a French reporter, has found a similar disparity in the department of Haut-Rhin.”

This data set suggests that the official number of coronavirus deaths may be higher — significantly higher. That too would affect the official death rate.

Vivek Saxena

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

V. Saxena is a staff writer for BizPac Review with a decade of experience as a professional writer, and a lifetime of experience as an avid news junkie. He holds a degree in computer technology from Purdue University.
Vivek Saxena

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