Report 4: Severity of 2019-novel coronavirus (nCoV)


We present case fatality ratio (CFR) estimates for three strata of 2019-nCoV infections. For cases detected in Hubei, we estimate the CFR to be 18% (95% credible interval: 11%-81%). For cases detected in travellers outside mainland China, we obtain central estimates of the CFR in the range 1.2-5.6% depending on the statistical methods, with substantial uncertainty around these central values. Using estimates of underlying infection prevalence in Wuhan at the end of January derived from testing of passengers on repatriation flights to Japan and Germany, we adjusted the estimates of CFR from either the early epidemic in Hubei Province, or from cases reported outside mainland China, to obtain estimates of the overall CFR in all infections (asymptomatic or symptomatic) of approximately 1% (95% confidence interval 0.5%-4%). It is important to note that the differences in these estimates does not reflect underlying differences in disease severity between countries. CFRs seen in individual countries will vary depending on the sensitivity of different surveillance systems to detect cases of differing levels of severity and the clinical care offered to severely ill cases. All CFR estimates should be viewed cautiously at the current time as the sensitivity of surveillance of both deaths and cases in mainland China is unclear. Furthermore, all estimates rely on limited data on the typical time intervals from symptom onset to death or recovery which influences the CFR estimates.

MIDAS Network Members

Steven Riley

Professor of Infectious Disease Dynamics
Imperial College London


Dorigatti Ilaria, Okell Lucy, Cori Anne, Imai Natsuko, Baguelin Marc, Bhatia Sangeeta, Boonyasiri Adhiratha, Cucunubá Zulma, Cuomo-Dannenburg Gina, Fitzjohn Rich, Fu Han, Gaythorpe Katy, Hamlet Arran, Hinsley Wes, Hong Nan, Kwun Min, Laydon Daniel, Nedjati-Gilani Gemma, Riley Steven, Van Elsland Sabine, Volz Erik, Wang Haowei, Wang Raymond, Walters Caroline, Xi Xiaoyue, Donnelly Christl, Ghani Azra, Ferguson Neil. Report 4: Severity of 2019-novel coronavirus (nCoV)