CDC estimates COVID-19 fatality rate, including asymptomatic cases

Posted at 4:51 PM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-20 23:51:52-04

Current estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) involve what is known as the infection fatality ratio (IFR) of COVID-19 in the United States.

The IFR is the number of people who die “of the disease among all infected individuals (symptomatic and asymptomatic),” according to the CDC.

An asymptomatic case is someone who is infected who “does not exhibit symptoms during the course of infection,” according to the CDC.

The CDC notes that these estimates are “not predictions or estimates of the expected impact of COVID-19.” Instead, what is presented is listed as the “Current Best Estimate,” which will be updated as more is learned.

The IFR estimate is broken down by ages, and does not include people 80 or older:

    AgeIFR Estimate
    0-19 Years1 in 33,333
    20-49 Years1 in 5,000
    50-69 Years1 in 200
    70+1 in 18
    *80+ not included

      Here are those estimates, stated as the percentage of all those infected (symptomatic and asymptomatic) who are surviving:

      0-19 Years99.997%
      20-49 Years99.98%
      50-69 Years99.5%
      *80+ not included

      Data Source: CDC

      As for individuals 80 and older not included in the estimates, the CDC website reads: "The estimates for persons ≥70 years old presented here do not include persons ≥80 years old as IFR estimates from Hauser et al., assumed that 100% of infections among persons ≥80 years old were reported." Aggregate case numbers and fatalities for individuals 80 and older in the U.S. were not immediately available on the CDC website.