At a presentation given to the American Hospital Association, Dr. James Lawler, a professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, was asked to give his worst-case scenario.
With estimates as high as 96 million cases he put his debts in the hundreds of thousands. He said as high as 480,000 deaths were possible in his scenario.
US hospitals are preparing for 96 million coronavirus infections and nearly half a million deaths from the outbreak, leaked documents have revealed.
The spread of the deadly disease could be far worse than officials claim, with 480,000 Americans expected to die from the virus and 4.8 million hospitalized, according to a presentation hosted by The American Hospital Association (AHA) in February.
This puts the crisis on a level more than 10 times greater than that seen in a severe flu season.
At the time of the presentation last week, there were more than 80,000 confirmed cases around the globe.
At the time, the US had around 60 cases and no deaths. Fast forward just one week, and the US has more than 430 cases and 19 confirmed deaths.
Worldwide, more than 100,000 people have now been infected.
The leaked slides also reveal the significant risks to older people and those with pre-existing health conditions if they catch coronavirus.
People aged 80 and over have a 14.8% chance of dying if they contract the infection, the slides revealed.
The risk declines with youth, though those aged 70-79 and 60-69 are still placed at a significant risk, with 8% and 3.6% mortality rates respectively.
Lawler also estimated that people with heart conditions have a one in 10 chance of dying from the disease, compared to the less than one in a 100 chance among healthy individuals with no pre-existing medical conditions.
A spokesman for Nebraska Medicine told Business Insider that the figures represent the views of Lawler and ‘his interpretation of the data available’
‘It’s possible that forecast will change as more information becomes available,’ they said.
Rumors that Chinese health officials believe Coronavirus can spread through air-conditioning systems are lending strength to a new wave of panic.
As this information spreads across the web it’s only going to strengthen the public’s anxiety.
Source: Daily Mail