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Covid 19: Italy vs South Korea

Italy has second number of confirmed covid 19 infections and the most deaths of any country. As of April 2:

Italy: 119,827 cases: 14681 deaths. Population 61 Million Deaths/Million: 273

US: 264,159 case: 6714 deaths: Population 375 Million Deaths/Million 20

South Korea 10,064 cases: 174 deaths. Population 61 Million Deaths/Million 3

So why the difference?

Italy has the second highest number of people over 65 (27%). Italy is very densely population with 583 people/square mile compared to 94 in the US. Rome has 5800 people/square mile Milan has an amazing 19,000 square/mile! On average, New York has 28,000 people/square mile. Like New York, Milan is a hub for international business. High numbers of travelers from great distances go in and out of Milan. Last, the outbreak was not discovered until it well underway. Once a high number of infections occur, it is dificult to ‘flatten the curve’.

South Korea. Despite the benefit of the availability of early testing and strict social distancing, South Korea had some demographic advantages over Italy. Only 18% of the population is over the age of 69. Only 20% of the cases were in people over 60. In fact, the largest age group infected were those in 20% which accounted for 30% of the cases. Seoul has a huge population density of 45,000 square mile but still managed to keep the infection rates low.

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