COVID-19 kills more people now than during most of the pandemic
COVID-19 kills more people now than during most of the pandemic

COVID-19 kills more people now than during most of the pandemic

Falling numbers of COVID-19 cases across the United States lead to lifted mask mandates and more talks about steps toward normality – but more people are dying from coronavirus now than during most points of the pandemic. More than 2,000 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the United States every day in the past month. The average daily deaths are falling, but from a very high point. They dived just below that mark in recent days, to about 1,900 on Monday; the federal holiday may have delayed reporting. Before omicron became the dominant coronavirus strain in the United States, there were only about 100 other days where there were more than 2,000 COVID-19 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The only second time that deaths have been so high so long was during the first winter rise before vaccines were available. The Omicron wave has also been lethal for longer than the delta rise: In September, when the delta was dominant, average daily deaths reached 2,000 in half as long. More than 120,000 people in the United States have died from COVID-19 since omicron became the dominant variant in December, and COVID-19 has accounted for more than 1 in 5 deaths reported in 2022. A common refrain early in the pandemic was that COVID-19 was most lethal to the elderly and people with certain health conditions. The people who die from COVID-19 now tend to be younger than before and they are predominantly unvaccinated, experts say. “I have long since lost track of the number of people I have seen die from the disease, but “The reality is that almost everyone who is critically ill, in the intensive care unit or dying now remains unvaccinated. This has been true since the beginning. But in the beginning, people did not have the opportunity to be vaccinated,” says Dr. Stephen Threlkeld. director of the Infectious Diseases Program at Baptist Memorial Health Care in Memphis. “None of us who take care of COVID patients need CDC statistics or anyone else to tell us that because we simply see that reality unfolds every day and has it for quite some time “But the data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is clear. In December, the risk of dying from COVID-19 was 14 times higher for unvaccinated adults than for adults who were fully vaccinated with their first series. The gap was even bigger when looking at those who also got their booster shots: 51 times higher. Through the pandemic, the majority of COVID-19 deaths have occurred in hospitals. But that share is even greater now that nursing homes have become smaller by a hotspot. By 2020, more than 1 in 5 COVID-19 deaths were in a nursing home. But by 2022, fewer than 1 in 10 deaths have been in nursing homes, according to preliminary data from the CDC. Vaccination rates are higher among older people in the United States, leaving a greater proportion of younger, unvaccinated people at higher risk for serious outcomes Nearly 90% of seniors 65 and older are fully vaccinated with their first vaccine series, and about two-thirds of those eligible have received their booster injection. However, less than two-thirds of adults under the age of 40 and less than one-third of children are fully vaccinated. And the vaccines work. Seniors accounted for 81% of COVID-19 deaths in 2020, a figure that dropped to 69% in 2021 and has remained at 76% so far in 2022, despite the increased risk of breakthrough infection during exponential spread in society “to the fuel it had left,” Threlkeld said. Racial differences in COVID-19 deaths continue, but have decreased over time. Black, Hispanic, and American Indians still have about twice the risk of dying from COVID-19 than white people, but this risk has dropped from about three times higher by the end of 2020. And white people, who are less likely to be vaccinated than Hispanics, have accounted for an increasing proportion of deaths recently. An analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that early in the omicron rise, the death rate for Hispanics remained lower than for whites, but mortality among blacks increased. And as the virus spread rapidly across the country, social health determinants were beginning to play a greater role in who becomes seriously ill and dies from COVID-19. “Delta was much more deadly. But omicron is so prevalent,” he said. Dr. Faisal Masud, director of the critical care center at Houston Methodist Extremely high transmission rates mean the virus reaches everyone, but it hits them from disadvantaged neighborhoods particularly hard, he said. These are the people who are more likely to be uninsured and who can delay treatment, leaving chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension untreated. “Patients who start with poor health have a disadvantage,” he said. deaths than any other state in the past week and is on track to soon surpass California in terms of total COVID-19 deaths. It is important to note the significant differences in health insurance rates and vaccination rates in the two states, Masud said. More than 70% of Californians are fully vaccinated compared to about 60% of Texans, according to CDC data. Overall, the proportion of omicron cases that have resulted in deaths appears to be lower than the case-mortality rate for delta. But it’s a “denominator phenomenon,” Threlkeld said, meaning a lower percentage of a much larger number will still be large. “I think that’s what people have forgotten: Just because something is a little less likely in a given person to cause serious illness, there are so many more people who have got this infection that you want many people who are sick, “he said.” We have certainly seen a lot of unvaccinated people who have managed very bad. ”

Falling numbers of COVID-19 cases across the United States lead to lifted mask mandates and more talks about steps toward normality – but more people are dying from coronavirus now than during most points of the pandemic.

More than 2,000 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the United States every day in the past month. The average daily deaths are falling, but from a very high point. They dived just below that mark in recent days, to about 1,900 on Monday; the federal holiday may have delayed reporting.

Before omicron became the dominant coronavirus strain in the United States, there were only about 100 other days where there were more than 2,000 COVID-19 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The only second time deaths have been so high for so long was during the first winter rise before vaccines were available. The Omicron wave has also been more deadly for longer than the delta rise: In September, when the delta was dominant, average daily deaths reached 2,000 for half as long.

More than 120,000 people in the United States have died from COVID-19 since omicron became the dominant variant in December, and COVID-19 has accounted for more than 1 in 5 deaths reported in 2022.

A common refrain early in the pandemic was that COVID-19 was most lethal to the elderly and people with certain health conditions. The people who die from COVID-19 now tend to be younger than before and they are predominantly unvaccinated, experts say.

“I have long since lost track of the number of people I have seen die of the disease, but the reality is that almost everyone who is critically ill, in the intensive care unit or dying now remains unvaccinated. It has been true since the beginning But in the beginning had people do not have the opportunity to be vaccinated, “said Dr. Stephen Threlkeld, Medical Director of the Infectious Diseases Program at Baptist Memorial Health Care in Memphis.

“None of us who take care of COVID patients need CDC statistics or anyone else to tell us that, because we simply see reality unfolding every day and have been doing so for a while. “

But the data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is clear. In December, the risk of dying from COVID-19 was 14 times higher for unvaccinated adults than for adults who were fully vaccinated with their first series. The distance was even greater when looking at those who also got their booster shots: 51 times higher.

Throughout the pandemic, the majority of COVID-19 deaths have occurred in hospitals. But that share is even greater now that nursing homes have become smaller by a hotspot. By 2020, more than 1 in 5 COVID-19 deaths were in a nursing home. But by 2022, fewer than 1 in 10 deaths have been in nursing homes, according to preliminary data from the CDC.

Vaccination rates are higher among older people in the United States, leaving a greater proportion of younger, unvaccinated people at higher risk for serious outcomes.

Nearly 90% of seniors 65 and older are fully vaccinated with their first vaccine series, and about two-thirds of those eligible have received their booster injection. However, less than two-thirds of adults under the age of 40 and less than one-third of children are fully vaccinated.

And the vaccines work. Seniors accounted for 81% of COVID-19 deaths in 2020, a figure that dropped to 69% in 2021 and has remained at 76% so far in 2022, despite the increased risk of breakthrough infection amid exponential spread in community.

“The virus simply went to the fuel it had left,” Threlkeld said.

Racial differences in COVID-19 deaths continue, but have decreased over time. Black, Hispanic, and American Indians still have about twice the risk of dying from COVID-19 than white people, but this risk has dropped from about three times higher by the end of 2020.

And white people, who are less likely to be vaccinated than Hispanics, have accounted for an increasing proportion of deaths recently. An analysis of the Kaiser Family Foundation found that early in the omicron rise, the death rate for Hispanics remained lower than for whites, but mortality among blacks increased.

And as the virus spread rapidly across the country, social health determinants have begun to play a greater role in who gets seriously ill and dies from COVID-19.

“Delta was much more deadly. But omicron is so prevalent,” said Dr. Faisal Masud, director of the critical care center at Houston Methodist.

Extremely high transmission rates mean the virus reaches everyone, but it hits them from disadvantaged neighborhoods particularly hard, he said. These are the people who are more likely to be uninsured and who can delay treatment and leave chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension untreated.

“Patients who start with poor health have a disadvantage,” he said.

Texas has reported more COVID-19 deaths than any other state in the past week and is on track to soon surpass California in overall COVID-19 deaths. It is important to note the significant differences in health insurance rates and vaccination rates in the two states, Masud said. More than 70% of Californians are fully vaccinated compared to about 60% of Texans, according to CDC data.

Overall, the proportion of omicron cases that have resulted in deaths appears to be lower than the case-mortality ratio for delta.

But it’s a “denominator phenomenon,” Threlkeld said, meaning a lower percentage of a much larger number will still be large.

“I think that’s what people have forgotten: Just because something is a little less likely in a given person to cause serious illness, there are so many more people who have got this infection that you want a lot of people. , who are sick, “he said.

“We’ve definitely seen a lot of unvaccinated people who have done very badly.”

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