More than 99 percent of reported coronavirus victims have suffered from other illnesses unrelated to the epidemic, according to a study by Italy's national health authorities.
After the number of deaths among Italians infected with coronavirus exceeded 2,500, health authorities began to analyze statistics in an attempt to find landmarks that would help stop the spread of the disease.
According to a report from the daily La Stampa on Wednesday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti's government is evaluating incoming information to decide whether there is a need to extend the nationwide quarantine regime beyond early April. More than 31,500 confirmed cases have been reported in Italy to date.
Recently, the results of a new study were published, which may shed light on the reasons why the death rate in Italy, which is about 8 percent of those infected, is significantly higher than in other countries.
The National Institute of Health in Rome analyzed the case histories of 18 percent of people who died from coronavirus and found that only three victims, or 0.8 percent of their total, had no other pathologies at the time of infection with the coronavirus. Almost every second of the deceased suffered from at least three diseases not associated with a viral infection, and about a quarter had one or two diseases.
About 75 percent had high blood pressure, about 35 percent had diabetes, and one in three had cardiovascular disease.
It is noteworthy that the average age of Italians infected with Covid-19 is 64, and the majority of those who died were older than this age. The study found that the average age of the victims is 79.5 years. As of March 17, there were only 50 deaths from coronavirus among people under the age of 50. Without exception, all those who died under the age of forty are men with serious illnesses previously recorded and not associated with a viral infection.
While data released on Tuesday indicated a slight slowdown in the spread of the disease (an increase of about 12.5 percent), a separate study found that Italy may underestimate the real number of infections, as only those patients who have severe symptoms.
According to the popular daily Il Sole 24 Ore, according to the GIMBE Foundation, the true number of Italians infected is around 100,000. If we assume that this figure is true, the death rate from coronavirus in Italy is approximately the same as the world average, that is, about 2 percent.