8. Coronavirus vs SARS or MERS
It’s still too early to determine the severity of the current coronavirus outbreak. However, as of Feb 7., the death toll of the coronavirus virus is 638. This is already almost double the number of fatalities of the SARS outbreak in China which killed 349 and the MERS outbreak in 2012 which killed 400.
Whilst the overall deaths are higher, the actual fatality rate of the coronavirus (the ratio of cases to deaths) is below 2%. This is much lower than both MERS (35%) and SARS (10%).
Although it is part of the coronavirus family, the current coronavirus has not previously been seen in humans. This is why there is a lot of uncertainty as to the severity of the virus and why countries are taking such drastic measures to stop the spread of the virus.