In Brief –Eight new cases of the coronavirus linked to a Hudson Valley man were announced Thursday, as additional cases in New York City and Long Island brought the state’s total to 22.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the 11 new cases in a mid-day press conference where he sought to assuage fears, laying out what he called the facts of the virus, including that 80 percent of cases resolve without hospitalization.
“Here the facts do not merit the level of anxiety that we are seeing,” Cuomo said, adding later he was “a little perturbed by the daily angst” that came with the announcement of new infections.
The two new people infected by the virus in New York City are both hospitalized, as well as the new case in Nassau County. None of the eight new cases connected to the Hudson Valley man – who lived in New Rochelle but worked in New York City – required hospitalization, according to Cuomo.
As of Thursday afternoon, 210 people in the U.S. had tested positive for the coronavirus, and 12 have died, according to the New York Times.
This would put the mortality rate in the U.S. at almost six percent – more than fifty times as deadly as the seasonal flu – but experts agree the mortality rate is likely much lower, as there may be many mild or asymptomatic cases in the U.S. that have not been detected and counted.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced Tuesday 3.4 percent of reported coronavirus cases resulted in death.
However, these only account for reported cases, the majority of which were in China’s Wuhan province, where the healthcare system was initially overwhelmed, leading to more deaths. The healthcare system was also unable to address mild or asymptomatic cases as it focused on the worst infections.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine of patients who underwent treatment in Wuhan found the mortality rate of 1.4 percent. A former federal Centers for Disease Control epidemics expert interviewed by The Other Hudson Valley said the overall mortality rate, when mild and asymptomatic cases are taken into consideration, may be as low as 0.2 percent in the U.S., but would be many times higher in less developed countries.
Cuomo also said during the press conference the money New York received to combat the coronavirus from the federal government was “insufficient.”
The Senate approved $8.4 billion to fight the virus Wednesday, but New York will receive only $35 million of the funds, Cuomo said.