Italy’s high rate of death from COVID-19 (7.2%, vs. 2.3% in China) may be explained by the country’s relatively high proportion of older people, a different definition of coronavirus-related deaths, and approach to testing strategies, according to a commentary yesterday in JAMA.

In a letter today in The Lancet, a separate group of Italian doctors implored countries to learn from their country’s experience and swiftly implement strict infection-control measures.

Meanwhile, an analysis of saliva samples yesterday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases shows that, unlike with SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), viral load in patients with COVID-19 was highest at the beginning of their illness, which could account for the fast-spreading nature of the pandemic.

Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

High death rates in those 70 and older

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