Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health told reporters at a press conference Saturday that, like the flu, some young and healthy people may die from the coronavirus, but the majority of fatalities will come from people who are elderly and or have an "underlying condition."
QUESTION: Dr. Fauci, what do you now understand about the morbidity? I mean, the Secretary referred to medically fragile people. Are you confident that if you're a relatively healthy young person, that this will not be fatal for you?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Yeah, okay. So the "n" -- the number in our country -- currently is low. But when you look at the pattern, it seems to be following the experiences that others have had. It's never 100 percent. If you look at the totality of the cases that have been reported, particularly from China, about 75 to 80 percent of them would do really quite well.
They would just sort of like a bad flu or a cold. You get anywhere from 15 to 20, 20-some-odd percent who are going to go on to require advanced medical care -- hospitalization, possibly intensive care. For the most part, the people who get in trouble and ultimately, tragically, would die from this are people who are elderly and/or have underlying conditions: heart disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, because of the difficulty in breathing back and forth.
However, every once in a while, you're going to see a one-off, you're going to see a 25-year-old person, who looks otherwise well, that's going to get seriously ill. But the vast majority of the people who get into trouble do have these underlying conditions. And that's why it confuses people, because they say, "Well, you just said that, and then there's a report of a 40-year-old physician from China who died.
That's going to happen. That happens with influenza. Most of the time, influenza kills people who are advanced age and underlying conditions. But you hear in the media, every once in a while, a college student would get infected and ultimately die. But the majority is in that risk group.