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Date: May 04, 2020

Coronavirus: Why mortality varies so much

Study by the Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute traces high mortality rate to intergenerational contacts.

The grandparents also live in the house and childcare is provided: What was long considered an ideal model for many families is dangerous during the Corona crisis: The two economists Prof. Dr. Moritz Kuhn and Prof. Dr. Christian Bayer from the University of Bonn have compared the role of social structures with mortality rates in COVID-19 infections across different countries. Result: The more working people live with their parents, the higher the proportion of Corona deaths at the beginning of the epidemic.

When looking at Italy, the high death rates of COVID-19 infection are particularly frightening. The proportion of deaths is significantly higher in Italy than in many other countries. In Germany, the proportion of patients with fatal disease progression is still below 0.3 percent, whereas in Italy it is around six percent (as of March 15). This means that in Italy an average of 60 people die per 1,000 affected people, whereas in Germany it is three. The two economists investigated differences in the way people live together and the social interaction in different countries as a possible cause of the differing mortality rates.


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