One chart shows US COVID-19 deaths compared with other common causes - Business Insider
Category: Entirely NewVia: tig • 9 months ago • 0 comments
By: Tyler Sonnemaker, Olivia Reaney (Business Insider)
- More than 13,000 Americans died last week from COVID-19, surpassing past weekly averages for other common causes of death like heart disease and cancer.
- The US has reported more coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country: As of Friday morning, more than 667,000 people had gotten sick and more than 32,000 people had died.
- Models are now predicting fewer deaths than before — about 60,000 by August — but experts have warned that the number could rise again if social-distancing measures don't remain in place.
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As the new coronavirus continues to spread throughout the US, it's killing more Americans per week than other common causes of death like heart disease and cancer have in past years.
Last week, more than 13,000 people died from COVID-19, surpassing the nearly 12,500 people killed on average each week in 2018 by heart conditions and the 11,500 people killed by cancer, showing just how quickly the virus has taken its toll on American lives.
Over the past few weeks, the US has become the hardest-hit country in the pandemic, with more than 32,000 deaths and 667,000 confirmed cases as of Friday morning. Worldwide, more than 143,000 people have died, meaning the coronavirus has already claimed more lives than outbreaks of the Ebola, MERS, and SARS viruses.
Business Insider compiled data from the COVID Tracking Project, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the US Census Bureau to show how COVID-19 deaths over time compare with other common causes of death in the US: heart disease, cancer, bad flu seasons, and car crashes.
COVID-19 is now killing more Americans weekly than heart disease or cancer did on average per week in 2018.
Business Insider/Olivia Reaney, data from COVID Tracking Project, CDC, NHTSA, Census Bureau
The coronavirus has spread rapidly in the US, and the number of deaths has grown exponentially along with it. From April 9 to 15, at least 13,613 people died from COVID-19, compared with 9,801 the week before.
For comparison, 12,451 people died on average per week from heart diseases and 11,521 people died per week from cancer in 2018. Fewer than 800 people died from car crashes in any week that year.
Even bad flu seasons, like the 2017-18 season, in which an estimated 61,000 Americans were killed — including 7,119 by the flu or pneumonia in a single week — didn't claim lives as quickly as COVID-19 did last week.
To make it easier to understand how the causes compare over the course of the year, we calculated the average weekly deaths from annual data on heart disease and cancer. We also combined data from the 2017-18 and 2018-19 flu seasons (which start in October in the CDC data) to show the total number of deaths in 2018.
The numbers in the chart represent how many deaths per million people that different causes were responsible for each week, not how many total people they killed.
The US could be nearing its coronavirus "peak," but the outbreak is far from over.
While experts expect the outbreak to peak in the US in the coming months, the number of people who will ultimately get sick or die depends on how well the country is able to maintain social distancing, ramp up testing, and develop treatments and vaccines.
It's also still too early to calculate the overall death rate of COVID-19, but the US has seen a lower rate so far than many other countries, with about 4.4% of those diagnosed with the disease dying from it.
That and other factors have led disease modelers to lower their fatality estimates: On Friday, the main model used in the US was predicting 60,415 deaths by August, assuming social-distancing measures are kept in place.
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