Infection Fatality Rate – A Critical Missing Piece for Managing Covid-19

To understand this, we need to understand the difference between case fatality rate (CFR) and infection fatality rate (IFR).  CFR is the ratio of the number of deaths divided by the number of confirmed (preferably by nucleic acid testing) cases of disease.  IFR is the ratio of deaths divided by the number of actual infections with SARS-CoV-2.  Because nucleic acid  testing is limited and currently available primarily to people with significant indications of and risk factors for covid-19 disease, and because a large number of infections with SARS-CoV-2 result in mild or even asymptomatic disease, the IFR is likely to be significantly lower than the CFR.  The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) at the University of Oxford currently estimates the CFR globally at 0.51%, with all the caveats pertaining thereto.  CEBM estimates the IFR at 0.1% to 0.26%, with even more caveats pertaining thereto.



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