The survival rate for Covid-19 is 98.54% in the UK.
We don’t know what the survival rate is yet, as we don’t know how many people have had the disease. This figure comes from a claim about the US which is a slight over-estimate based on available figures.
We’ve seen a numberof Facebookposts claiming that the “current survival rate” for Covid-19 is 98.54% in the UK. These posts have been shared over 14,000 times.
This is wrong. The figure seems to come from a Facebook post that made the same claim about the US survival rate back in April.
But we don’t yet know the true survival rate there or in the UK, as we don’t have a good idea of how many people have had Covid-19. There’s a lot we don’t know about the exact death toll either, which we’ve written more about here.
Fact checkersin the US have reported on the 98.54% claim. It is actually an over-estimate of how many people have had a confirmed case of Covid-19 and have not died at this time. But describing that as the “survival rate” has problems.
We can calculate this by looking at the case fatality rate, which is the percentage of deaths in patients who had the disease out of the number of confirmed cases. In the US, it’s currently at roughly 6%, meaning around 94% of those who’ve had confirmed cases so far have not died. As other fact checkers have pointed out, although a rate of survival around 95% sounds high, this would still make Covid-19 more lethal than seasonal flu.
In the UK, at the time of writing, there have been 246,406 confirmed cases of Covid-19. There have been 34,796 Covid-19 associated deaths, meaning people who died having had a positive test result for Covid-19. From this, the case fatality rate in the UK is around 14%, meaning 86% have “survived”. This shouldn’t be directly compared with the figure for the US above, due to major differences between how widespread testing is.
But this figure can’t be considered a ‘survival rate’ as we don’t know how many of those who have tested positive have fully recovered, how many are still ill, and how many might still die in the future.
The “true” survival rate at the moment will be higher than any figure derived from the case fatality rate, as this is based on cases confirmed by testing, and not everyone who has had the virus will have been tested.
This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here.
For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as partly false
because we don’t yet know the survival rate in the UK, and this figure originated in the US.
You’ve probably seen a surge in misleading and unsubstantiated medical advice since the Covid-19 outbreak. If followed, it can put lives at serious risk. We need your help to protect us all from false and harmful information.
We’ve seen people claiming to be health professionals, family members, and even the government – offering dangerous tips like drinking warm water or gargling to prevent infection. Neither of these will work.
The longer claims like these go unchecked, the more they are repeated and believed. It can put people’s health at serious risk, when our services are already under pressure.
Today, you have the opportunity to help save lives. Good information about Covid-19 could be the difference between someone taking the right precautions to protect themselves and their families, or not. Could you help protect us all from false and harmful information today?