List of human disease case fatality rates

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Human infectious diseases may be characterized by their case fatality rate (CFR). A CFR is the proportion of people diagnosed with a disease who die from the disease (cf. mortality rate). The infection fatality rate (IFR) is the proportion of people infected by a disease-causing agent, including asymptomatic and undiagnosed infections, who die from the disease; it cannot be higher than the CFR and is often much lower. Data are based on optimally treated patients and exclude isolated cases or minor outbreaks, unless otherwise indicated.

Disease Type Treatment[clarification needed] CFR Notes Reference(s)
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies Prion Currently Incurable 100% Includes Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and all its variants, fatal familial insomnia, kuru, Gerstmann–Sträussler–Scheinker syndrome and others. [1]
African trypanosomiasis Parasitic Untreated ~100% [2]
Visceral leishmaniasis Parasitic Untreated ~100% [3]
Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, Naegleria fowleri Amoeba Untreated ~100% Amphotericin B has shown efficacy in the limited survivorship population. Around 7 documented survivors
Seasonal Influenza, Worldwide Viral Largely unvaccinated,
< 0.002%[inconsistent] Depends largely on the age group of the people. [4]
Rabies Viral Untreated ~100% Preventable with vaccines down to ~0% CFR and treatable with PEP but, once the symptoms manifest, the CFR is near 100%. Around 16 documented survivors after symptom onset, all but 3 did not receive any Rabies (specific) treatment at any time before symptom onset. Of those 3, only 1 survived without the use of a therapeutic coma [5]
Balamuthia Amoeba Opportunistic & Untreated[6] ~100% 2 survivors, both have permanent brain damage. [7][circular reference]
Glanders, septicemic Bacterial Untreated 95% The rate drops significantly to >50% with treatment. [8]
Smallpox Variola major – specifically the malignant (flat) or hemorrhagic type Viral Untreated ~95% The rate drops significantly to 10% with effective treatments.
Ebola virus disease – specifically EBOV Viral Unvaccinated & Untreated [83–90]%
Prognosis improved by early supportive treatments as seen in the West African epidemic and the Kivu outbreak. [11][12]
AIDS/HIV infection Viral Untreated [80–90]% Data are counted during the first 5 years of infection in developed countries. HIV is not lethal on its own but patients are usually killed by respiratory diseases, such as flu or pneumonia because of immunodeficiency caused by HIV virus. [13]:1
Anthrax, specifically the pulmonary form Bacterial Unvaccinated & Untreated > 85% Early treatments lower the CFR to 45% as seen in the 2001 AMERITHRAX letter attacks.
Monoclonal antibodies (Obilotoxaximab & Raxibacumab) could lower this further.
Macanine alphaherpesvirus 1 Viral Untreated ~80% Early treatment including aciclovir can improve prognosis. [14]
Aspergillosis, invasive pulmonary form Fungal Opportunistic w/COPD, Tuberculosis and Immuno-
[50–90]% [15]
Smallpox, Variola major – in pregnant women Viral Unvaccinated > 65% [9]:88
Cryptococcal meningitis Fungal Co-infection with HIV [40–60]% 6 month mortality is >=60% with fluconazole-based therapy and 40% with amphotericin-based therapy in research studies in low and middle income countries. [16]
Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 Viral ~60% [17]
Bubonic plague Bacterial Unvaccinated & Untreated [5–60]% [9]:57
Tularemia, pneumonic Bacterial Untreated ≤ 60% [9]:78
Anthrax, gastrointestinal, intestinal type Bacterial Unvaccinated & Untreated > 50% [9]:27
Marburg virus disease – all outbreaks combined Viral Untreated [23–90]% 23% in 1967 when it was first identified and 90% in 2004-2005 when the worst outbreak of the disease occurred. Galidesivir has shown promise in treating Filoviridae [18][19]
Plague, pneumonic Bacterial Unvaccinated & Untreated 50% [9]:58
Tetanus, Generalized Bacterial Unvaccinated & Untreated 50% CFR drops to [10–20]% with effective treatment. [20]
Baylisascariasis Parasitic ~40% With occurrence of Neural Larva Migrans; early, aggressive treatment necessary for survival, but only 2 full recoveries from NLM ever documented [21]
Plague, septicemic Bacterial Unvaccinated & Untreated [30–50]% [9]:58
Hantavirus infection Viral 36% Ribavirin may be a drug for HPS and HFRS but its effectiveness remains unknown, still, spontaneous recovery is possible with supportive treatment.
Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Viral 35% Galidesivir has shown promise in treating Coronaviridae [22]
Tularemia, typhoidal Bacterial Untreated [3–35]% [9]:77
Eastern equine encephalitis virus Viral ~33% [23]
Anthrax, gastrointestinal, oropharyngeal type Bacterial [10–50]% [9]:27
Tuberculosis, HIV Negative Bacterial Vaccine 43% Vaccines have been developed but have been frequently dismissed for having received controversial and improper testing on African populations. [24]
Smallpox, Variola major Viral Unvaccinated 30% [9]:88
Varicella (chickenpox), in newborns Viral Untreated ~30% Where the mothers develop the disease between 5 days prior to, or 2 days after delivery. [13]:110
Dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) Viral Untreated 26% Dengue haemorrhagic fever is also known as severe dengue.[25] [26]
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) Viral Untreated ~21% Galidesivir has shown promise in treating Bunyavirales [27]
Leptospirosis Bacterial < [5–30]% [13]:352
Legionellosis Bacterial ~15% [13]:665
Meningococcal disease Bacterial Unvaccinated & Untreated [10–20]% [28]
Typhoid fever Bacterial Unvaccinated & Untreated [10–20]% [13]:665
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) Viral 11% Galidesivir has shown promise in treating Coronaviridae [29]
Intestinal capillariasis Parasitic Untreated ~10% [30]
Visceral leishmaniasis Parasitic ~10% [31]
Botulism Bacterial toxin Treated < 10% Untreated foodborne botulism is thought to be ~50% [32]
Diphtheria, respiratory Bacterial Unvaccinated & Untreated ~[5-10]% [33]
Yellow fever Viral Unvaccinated 7.5% [34]
Pertussis (whooping cough), infants in developing countries Bacterial Unvaccinated ~3.7% [13]:456
Smallpox, Variola major Viral Vaccinated 3% [9]:88
1918 (Spanish) flu Viral Treated > 2.5% [35]
Angiostrongyliasis Parasitic ~2.4% From Hawaiian cases. [36]
Measles (rubeola), in developing countries Viral Unvaccinated ~[1–3]% May reach [10–30]% in some localities. [13]:431
Cholera, in Africa Bacterial ~[2–3]% With proper treatment, may be less than 1%, while without treatment may reach 50% [37][38][39][40][41]
Brucellosis Bacterial Untreated ≤ 2% [13]:87
Hepatitis A, adults > 50 years old Viral Unvaccinated ~1.8% [13]:278
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Viral Unvaccinated &
Treated with unspecific treatments
(As of October 2020)
About 0.23% for low-income countries with a population structure skewed towards younger individuals and about 1.15% for high-income countries with a population structure skewed towards older individuals.[inconsistent] The CFR is expected to evolve as the pandemic progresses further, introduction of newer treatments, and as vaccines are being administered. [42][inconsistent]
Lassa fever Viral ~1% 15% in hospitalized patients; higher in some epidemics. [13]:334
Mumps encephalitis Viral Unvaccinated ~1% [13]:431
Pertussis (whooping cough), children in developing countries Bacterial Unvaccinated ~1% For children 1–4 years old. [13]:456
Smallpox, Variola minor Viral Unvaccinated 1% [9]:87–88
Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) Viral < 1% [9]:97–98
Anthrax, cutaneous Bacterial < 1% [9]:27
Malaria Parasitic ~0.3% [43]
Hepatitis A Viral Unvaccinated [0.1–0.3]% [13]:278
Polio Viral Without artificial breathing support ~0.1%, varies by age: 2-5% for children and up to 15-30% for adults 0.5% of all infected become paralysed. Of those, about [10-20]% die. [44][45]
Asian (1956–58) flu Viral ~0.1% [46]
Hong Kong (1968–69) flu Viral ~0.1% [46]
Influenza A, typical pandemics Viral < 0.1% [35]
Varicella (chickenpox), adults Viral Unvaccinated 0.02% [13]:110
Hand, foot and mouth disease, children < 5 years old Viral 0.01% [47]
Varicella (chickenpox), children Viral Unvaccinated 0.001% [13]:110

See also[edit]


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