Many people suspect they’ve been infected with COVID-19 by now, despite the fact that only 0.5% of the UK’s population has actually been diagnosed with it. Similar numbers have been reported in other countries. Exactly how many people have actually had it, however, is unclear. There is also uncertainty around what proportion of people who get COVID-19 die as a result, though many models assume it is around 1%.
We believe there has been over-confidence in the reporting of infection prevalence and fatality rate statistics when it comes to COVID-19. Such statistics fail to take account of uncertainties in the data and explanations for these. In our new paper, published in the in the Journal of Risk Research, we developed a computer model that took these uncertainties into account when estimating COVID-19 fatality rates. And we see a very different picture.