COVID-19 - No Lessons Learned From South Korea
Europe is 2 weeks ahead of the USA in the COVID-19 crisis, like South Korea is 2 weeks ahead of Europe. It makes sense to look at the developments in Europe and South Korea to estimate the effects of COVID-19 in the US from the effects there. It should be the same desease everywhere.
The data on the deceased is important to decide if there is an excess mortality additional to the natural, seasonal mortality. Due to the many pre-existing conditions and often unclear causes of death of deceased with positive COVID-19 test this is the only way to decide if there is a new pathogen adding to the annual mortality.
Therefore, we would like to refer again to current figures from governmental agencies on the very high median age and the many pre-existing conditions of those who died with or from COVID-19 in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and South Korea as well as the high number of symptom-free SARS-CoV2 positive people in Iceland.
The reported median age of the deceased with positive COVID-19 test match the natural life expectancy in the countries mentioned. As a matter of fact, taking the pre-existing conditions into account the median age is at the higher end of the natural life expectancy.
As for the data for Germany we again criticize the German RKI statistics with respect to the missing detailed analysis of the causes of death. 650,000 companies in short-time work and a 1,200 billion euros aid programs and the RKI does not know the causes of death. We are not aware of anyone in the German media or major daily newspapers who has publicly criticized this apparent mismatch.
According to palliative physician Dr. Matthias Thöns, 40% of the intensive care patients come directly from nursing homes and were previously in need of severe nursing care.
- Matthias Thöns, „Sehr falsche Prioritäten gesetzt und alle ethischen Prinzipien verletzt“, Deutschlandfunk, 11.4.2020, https://www.deutschlandfunk.de/palliativmediziner-zu-covid-19-behandlungen-sehr-falsche.694.de.html?dram:article_id=474488
„Und wir müssen ja bedenken, dass es sich bei den schwer erkrankten COVID-19-Betroffenen, so nennt man ja die Erkrankung, meistens um hochaltrige, vielfach erkrankte Menschen handelt, 40 Prozent von denen kommen schwerstpflegebedürftig aus Pflegeheimen, und in Italien sind von 2.003 Todesfällen nur drei Patienten ohne schwere Vorerkrankungen gewesen. Also es ist eine Gruppe, die üblicherweise und bislang immer mehr Palliativmedizin bekommen hat als Intensivmedizin, und jetzt wird so eine neue Erkrankung diagnostiziert und da macht man aus diesen ganzen Patienten Intensivpatienten.“
“Very wrong priorities and all ethical principles violated”
“And we have to bear in mind that the seriously ill COVID-19 patients, as the disease is called, are mostly very old, often ill people, 40 percent of whom come from nursing homes in need of severe care, and in Italy there are 2,003 Deaths from which only three patients had no serious pre-existing condition. So it is a group that has traditionally and so far received more and more palliative care than intensive care medicine, and now a new illness is being diagnosed and all of these patients are being turned into intensive care patients.”
The strong age dependency and multi-morbidity of the deceased were also known from South Korea and South Korea is two weeks ahead of Europe with regard to COVID-19.
- KSID, “Analysis on 54 Mortality Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in the Republic of Korea from January 19 to March 10, 2020”, .J Korean Med Sci. 2020 Mar 30;35(12):e132, https://www.jkms.org/Synapse/Data/PDFData/0063JKMS/jkms-35-e132.pdf
“The median age at death was 75.5 years old (interquartile range [IQR], 66–80; range, 35–93 years old). Men was 61.1% (33/54). Forty-nine patients (90.7%) had an underlying illness. The most common underlying illness was cardiovascular disease such as hypertension and heart diseases followed by diabetes, and neurologic diseases (mostly dementia and stroke).”
This publication was submitted on March 19th, 2020. The experts must have known this data before the lockdown in Europe. And yet there are so many old people's homes and nursing homes affected?
Why did the experts not foresee this and shielded old people's and nursing homes early on? Instead, schools have been closed. Children are hardly noticeably affected.
To this day, figures on people who test positive are dramatized in the media and numbers on people who died with or from COVID-19 are reported without any context. This causes panic and is dangerous.
About the numbers from Europe.
- RKI, „Täglicher Lagebericht des RKI zur Coronavirus-Krankheit-2019 (COVID-19)“, 12.4.2020, https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Situationsberichte/2020-04-12-de.pdf?__blob=publicationFile
„Der Altersmedian liegt bei 82 Jahren. Von den Todesfällen waren 2.304(86%) Personen 70 Jahre und älter. Im Unterschied dazu beträgt der Anteil der über70-Jährigen an der Gesamtzahl der übermittelten COVID-19-Fällenur 17%.“
“RKI Daily Coronavirus Disease 2019 Report (COVID-19)”
“The median age is 82 years. Of the deceased, 2,304 (86%) were 70 years and older. In contrast, the share of over 70-year-olds in the total number of reported COVID-19 cases is only 17%.”
- BAG, „Situationsbericht zur epidemiologischen Lage in der Schweiz und im Fürstentum Liechtenstein“, 14.04.2020, https://www.bag.admin.ch/dam/bag/de/dokumente/mt/k-und-i/aktuelle-ausbrueche-pandemien/2019-nCoV/covid-19-lagebericht.pdf.download.pdf/COVID-19_Epidemiologische_Lage_Schweiz.pdf
„Bisher starben in der Schweiz 900 Personen, die im Labor positiv auf COVID-19 getestet worden waren. Die Inzidenz der Todesfälle liegt in der Schweiz bei 105 Todesfällen pro Million Einwohner. Von den Verstorbenen waren 543 Männer (60%) und 356 Frauen (40%), die Altersspanne betrug 31 bis 101 Jahre. Der Altersmedian lag bei 84 Jahren.
Von den 868 verstorbenen Personen für welche vollständige Daten vorhanden sind, litten 96% an mindestens einer Vorerkrankung. Die drei am häufigsten genannten Vorerkrankungen waren Bluthochdruck (64% der verstorbenen Personen), Herz-Kreislauferkrankungen (56%) und Diabetes (27%).“
“Situation report on the epidemiological situation in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein”
“So far, 900 persons have died in Switzerland who had tested positive for COVID-19 in the laboratory. The incidence of deaths in Switzerland is 105 deaths per million inhabitants. Of the deceased, 543 were men (60%) and 356 women (40%), and the age range was 31 to 101 years. The median age was 84 years.
Of the 868 deceased for whom complete data are available, 96% suffered from at least one pre-existing condition. The three most common pre-existing conditions were high blood pressure (64% of those who died), cardiovascular disease (56%) and diabetes (27%).”
The median age for Switzerland has thus increased by 1 year compared to the previous weeks.
- Santé Publique, “COVID-19: point épidémiologique du 9 avril 2020”, 9 April 2020, https://www.santepubliquefrance.fr/maladies-et-traumatismes/maladies-et-infections-respiratoires/infection-a-coronavirus/documents/bulletin-national/covid-19-point-epidemiologique-du-9-avril-2020
„Parmi les certificats de décès rédigés par voie électronique et transmis à Santé publique France depuis le 1er mars 2020, 3 975 décès contenaient une mention de COVID-19 parmi les causes médicales de décès renseignées (Tableau 4). L’âge médian au décès était de 83 ans et 74% avaient 75 ans et plus.“
“Des comorbidités étaient renseignées dans 2 543, soit 64% des certificats de décès certifiés par voie électronique. Parmi ces décès, une mention d’hypertension artérielle était indiquée dans 28% des certificats de décès et 34% des certificats contenaient une mention de pathologies cardiaques en comorbidité. Sur l’ensemble des décès certifiés électroniquement, 3% des personnes décédées ne présentaient pas de comorbidité et étaient âgés de moins de 65 ans”
„Among the death certificates sent electronically to Public Health France since March 1, 2020, 3,975 deaths contained a mention of COVID-19 among the medical causes of death reported (Table 4). The median age at death was 83 and 74% were 75 and over. "
“Co-morbidities were reported in 2,543, or 64% of the death certificates certified electronically. Among these deaths, a mention of high blood pressure was indicated in 28% of death certificates and 34% of certificates contained a mention of comorbid heart conditions. Of all electronically certified deaths, 3% of those who died had no co-morbidity and were under the age of 65.”
- ISS, “Characteristics of COVID-19 patients dying in Italy - Report based on available data on April 9th , 2020”, 9.4.2020, https://www.epicentro.iss.it/en/coronavirus/bollettino/Report-COVID-2019_9_april_2020.pdf
“The present report describes characteristics of 16,654 COVID-19 patients dying in Italy.[* COVID-19 related deaths presented in this report are those occurring in patients who test positive for SARSCoV-2 RT by PCR, independently from pre-existing diseases.]”
“Mean age of patients dying for COVID-2019 infection was 78.”
“Women dying for COVID-2019 infection had an older age than men (median age women 83 - median age men 78).”
“Mean number of diseases was 3.3 (median 3, SD 1.9). Overall, 3.5% of the sample presented with a no comorbidities, 14.8% with a single comorbidity, 20.7% with 2, and 61.0% with 3 or more.”
“In particular, 44 of these were less than 40 years, 30 men and 14 women (age range between 5 and 39 years). For 7 patients under the age of 40 years no clinical information is available; the remaining 29 had serious pre-existing pathologies (cardiovascular, renal, psychiatric pathologies, diabetes, obesity) and 8 had no major pathologies.”
Why should a new pathogen reflect the higher natural life expectancy of women if age is not the determining factor?
- Ministerio de Sanidad, „ Actualización nº 74. Enfermedad por el coronavirus (COVID-19).”, 13.04.2020, https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov-China/documentos/Actualizacion_74_COVID-19.pdf
Table 2 [Fallecidos] 86,1% over 70 years
- RIVM, „Epidemiologische situatie COVID-19 in Nederland 13 april 2020“, 13.4.2020, https://www.rivm.nl/sites/default/files/2020-04/Epidemiologische%20situatie%20COVID-19%20in%20Nederland%2013%20april%202020.pdf
„De helft van de opgenomen patiënten is 69 jaar of ouder, bij de overleden patiënten was de helft 81 jaar of ouder.“
“Epidemiological situation COVID-19 in the Netherlands April 13, 2020”
"Half of the admitted patients are 69 years or older, half of the deceased patients were 81 years or older."
In Belgium, 46% of those who died with a positive COVID-19 test died in a nursing home, cf.
- Sciensano, „COVID-19 –EPIDEMIOLOGISCH BULLETIN VAN 14 APRIL 2020”, 14.4.2020, https://epidemio.wiv-isp.be/ID/Documents/Covid19/Meest%20recente%20update.pdf
„Cumulatief totaal van de tot dusver gerapporteerde sterfgevallen - Plaats van overlijden – Woonzorgcentrum: 46%“
“COVID-19 –EPIDEMIOLOGICAL BULLETIN FROM 13 APRIL 2020”
“Cumulative total number of deaths reported so far - place of death - nursing home: 46%”
This is an independent confirmation of the statement of Dr. Matthias Thöns. How representative for the general population could the numerous television contributions and videos of intensive care patients have beeen?
How many of these elderly people have died because they had been told that they are infected with a death virus, if they were not demented?
Science has so far failed to explain why the age distribution of those who died with or from COVID-19 is completely consistent with the normal, seasonal age distribution of mortality.
- Posch et al., "Erste Analysen österreichischer COVID-19 Sterbezahlen nach Alter und Geschlecht", IMS, Medizinische Universität Wien, 7.4.2020, https://cemsiis.meduniwien.ac.at/ms/
"Wir analysieren die Alters- und Geschlechtsverteilung der gemeldeten COVID-19 Verstorbenen in Österreich. Übereinstimmend mit internationalen Studien legen auch die österreichischen Daten nahe, dass das Sterberisiko mit dem Alter stark ansteigt. Die beobachtete Altersabhängigkeit ist konsistent mit der des allgemeinen jährlichen Sterberisikos in Österreich."
"First analyzes of Austrian COVID-19 deaths by age and gender"
"We analyze the age and gender distribution of the reported COVID-19 deceased in Austria. In line with international studies, the Austrian data also suggest that the risk of death increases sharply with age. The observed age dependency is consistent with that of the general annual risk of death in Austria . "
Another study, Ioannidis et al., confirms these findings as there is no observable excess mortality by COVID-19 in persons younger than 65 years.
- Ioannidis et al., “Population-level COVID-19 mortality risk for non-elderly individuals overall and for non-elderly individuals without underlying diseases in pandemic epicenters”, medrxiv, April 08, 2020, https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.05.20054361v1
“Based on the data until April 4, for the whole COVID-19 fatality season to-date (starting with the date the first death was documented in each location) the risk of dying from coronavirus for a person <65 years old is equivalent to the risk of dying driving a distance of 9 to 415 miles by car per day during the COVID-19 fatality season.
The values suggest that a large number of the deceased in Italy, Spain and other countries are victims of the fearmongering of the media. The panic led to an overload of the hospitals there. And a hospital cannot send an 80+ years old person with stress-symptoms away. These are countries with already weaker health infrastructure than in Germany, Switzerland or Austria. In recent years Italy had reduced the number of beds in hospitals by 51%.
This conclusion is also supported by the very low effect of the alleged new pathogen of zoonotic origin in children and adolescents. There is no reason why a completely new pathogen should spare this age group. Iceland reports that 50% of people with a positive test are symptom-free. How is that supposed to work without immunity? When was that immunity acquired? Science has no explanation for this either. Cf.
- Tara John, “Iceland lab's testing suggests 50% of coronavirus cases have no symptoms”, April 3, 2020, https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/01/europe/iceland-testing-coronavirus-intl/index.html
It is important to see the number of infected and deceased people in this context. Everything else will cause panic and the panic will overload the public health systems.
The hardly observable effects of COVID-19 in children and adolescents as well as a median age of the deceased of 80+ years matching the natural life expectancy as well as the very high rate of pre-existing conditions does not support the view that there is an observable excess mortality due to a new pathogen of zoonotic origin.
People are misled by the dramatic images presented by the media. Nobody looks at the statistic. Nobody checks what the PCR test really measures, e.g. with respect to classic corona viruses.
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