82% of covid-19 cases ID'ed so far are mild, basically a bad cold. Virologists are trying to determine: How many more mild cases haven't been counted? And what factors cause some cases to be mild and others lethal?
Several coronaviruses already circulate globally and just cause colds. And several cause more dangerous diseases like SARS and MERS. Covid-19 is new enough that we're still trying to figure out where it is on the scale between a cold and SARS.
Another article mentioned the H1N1 flu, which at first appeared much more deadly than other strains because it was the severe cases that were being counted. Once researchers could go back and find the mild cases, it turned out to be about the same as the typical seasonal flu.
A decade since jumping to humans, H1N1 has essentially become just another seasonal flu.
Covid-19 is somewhere in between a cold and SARS, but as mentioned above, we're still trying to figure out where.
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