The United States surpassed 1,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day for the first time Wednesday, a daily toll more than double that of two of the most deadly diseases in the United States – lung cancer and influenza.
The number of deaths from the virus is difficult to keep track of, but the Johns Hopkins coronavirus database – whose sources include the World Health Organization, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC European Commission and the National Health Commission of China – shows that the United States struck 1040 cases on Wednesday at 10:25 p.m. ET. Since the first appearance of the virus in the United States in late January, 5,116 people have died and more than 215,000 have been infected.
The previous record for a single day in the United States was Tuesday, with 504 deaths.
Some researchers say the number of deaths per day could more than double – to 2,200 or more – by mid-April. That figure would overshadow heart disease, the country’s No. 1 killer with around 1,772 deaths per day, according to the CDC.
“Our country is in the middle of a big national trial,” said President Donald Trump during a White House briefing on the virus. “We are going through two very difficult weeks. “
Lung cancer kills 433 people every day in the United States – the same number of seats in a Boeing 747 plane, according to the Lung Cancer Foundation of America. Breast cancer kills about 116 Americans a day.
The flu, a chronic killer the nation expects in annual cycles – and the reason why millions of Americans get the flu shot – has killed about 508 people a day in the United States during the season. the 2017-2018 flu, the worst in the country in the past decade, according to the CDC. This year’s flu season registered an average of 383 deaths per day, according to figures from the CDC.
While health officials say COVID-19 is considered a flash medical event in that it is unlikely to maintain its lethal hold for more than three or four months, the threshold of 1000 is important as it shows how powerful an unforeseen epidemic can be. the American medical system.
It also raises questions about the possible lethal effects of COVID-19 over time. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus task force, warned that the virus could become a recurring event, as could the flu. He said the United States should prepare for the next round, which could take place in the fall of 2020.
“We really have to be ready for another round,” said Fauci.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stressed the need to continue to develop and test the vaccine quickly so that it is available “for this next cycle.”
A University of Washington study updated this week predicts that if the entire nation makes a full effort to limit contact, coronavirus deaths will peak in the next two weeks and patients will overwhelm hospitals in most States.
Nationally, the University of Washington model predicts a maximum daily death rate of 2,214 by mid-April and a total of 84,000 Americans dead by the end of the summer. That’s more than twice the number of deaths during the 2018-2019 flu season, which killed 34,000 people, according to the CDC.
But this figure represents the most likely estimate of the model. The range of scenarios ranges from 36,000 deaths from COVID-19 to over 152,000, according to the research team led by Christopher Murray, founder and president of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
According to estimates released Tuesday by the White House, up to 240,000 Americans could die from the new coronavirus, a grim prediction that influenced President Donald Trump’s decision to extend the guidelines on social distancing.
The daily death toll from coronavirus is unlikely to drop below 100 until June 11, the study predicts.
The symptoms of the coronavirus can be confused with those of the flu and, indeed, the two viruses have similar effects. Tracking the flu was just as troublesome for health officials. The CDC says the flu burden in the United States can vary widely and is determined by a number of factors, including the characteristics of the viruses in circulation, the timing of the flu season, how well vaccines work, and the number of people vaccinated.
Health experts say the future of the coronavirus depends on factors such as the development of human immunity and the development of an effective vaccine. If none occurs, the virus will likely continue to circulate and establish itself as a common respiratory virus like the flu.
The CDC estimates that the flu has caused 9 to 45 million illnesses, 140,000 to 810,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 to 61,000 deaths per year since 2010.
Contributors: Katie Wedell, Erin Mansfield and Dinah Pulver, USA TODAY Network