Similarity in Case Fatality Rates (CFR) of COVID-19/SARS-COV-2 in Italy and China

J Infect Dev Ctries. 2020 Feb 29;14(2):125-128. doi: 10.3855/jidc.12600.


As of 28 February 2020, Italy had 888 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infections, with most cases in Northern Italy in the Lombardia and Veneto regions. Travel-related cases were the main source of COVID-19 cases during the early stages of the current epidemic in Italy. The month of February, however, has been dominated by two large clusters of outbreaks in Northern Italy, south of Milan, with mainly local transmission the source of infections. Contact tracing has failed to identify patient zero in one of the outbreaks. As of 28 February 2020, twenty-one cases of COVID-19 have died. Comparison between case fatality rates in China and Italy are identical at 2.3. Additionally, deaths are similar in both countries with fatalities in mostly the elderly with known comorbidities. It will be important to develop point-of-care devices to aid clinicians in stratifying elderly patients as early as possible to determine the potential level of care they will require to improve their chances of survival from COVID-19 disease.

Keywords: Case Fatality Rates; Italy; Novel coronavirus COVID-19; SARS-CoV-19; outbreak.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • China / epidemiology
  • Contact Tracing
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections / mortality*
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality
  • Pandemics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Viral / mortality*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Young Adult