Death toll at Covid-19: death toll in the United States reached approximately 37,100 at the start of the pandemic

0
94


Excess

death

less

covid-19

60,000 global deaths per week

Excessive deaths are dead

above what is historically

planned for this period.

Sources: Global data on covid-19 deaths and number of deaths are from the National Center for Health Statistics, and estimates of expected deaths are from the Yale School of Public Health Modeling Unit.

Excess

death

less

covid-19

United States as a whole

death

in 2020

60,000 global deaths per week

Excessive deaths are dead

above what is historically

planned for this period.

Sources: Global data on covid-19 deaths and number of deaths are from the National Center for Health Statistics, and estimates of expected deaths are from the Yale School of Public Health Modeling Unit.

Excessive deaths

other than

reported

covid-19

United States as a whole

death

in 2020

60,000 global deaths per week

Excessive deaths are dead

above what is historically

planned for this period.

Sources: Global data on covid-19 deaths and number of deaths are from the National Center for Health Statistics, and estimates of expected deaths are from the Yale School of Public Health Modeling Unit.

Excessive deaths

other than

reported

covid-19

United States as a whole

death

in 2020

60,000 global deaths per week

Excessive deaths are dead

above what is historically

planned for this period.

Sources: Global data on covid-19 deaths and deaths are from the National Center for Health Statistics, and estimates of expected deaths are from the Yale School of Public Health’s Modeling Unit.

The United States recorded an estimated 37,100 additional deaths from the spread of the new coronavirus across the country in March and the first two weeks of April, nearly 13,500 more than is now attributed to covid-19 for the same period, according to an analysis of federal data. conducted for the Washington Post by a research team led by the Yale School of Public Health.

Yale’s team analysis suggests that the number of excessive deaths has accelerated as the pandemic set in. The number of additional deaths is estimated at 16,600 in the week of April 5 to 11, compared to 20,500 in the previous five weeks.

Although the estimate of the team’s impact at the start of the epidemic already paints an unusually high death toll, that number is expected to increase as new deaths are reported to the federal government on an ongoing basis.

“I think people should be aware that the data they see on deaths is very incomplete,” said Dan Weinberger, professor of epidemiology at Yale, who led the analysis for The Post.

These excess deaths – the number beyond what would normally be expected for this time of the year – are not necessarily directly attributable to Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. It could be people with unrelated illnesses who avoided hospitals for fear of exposure or who could not get the care they needed from overwhelmed health systems, as well as some number of deaths that are part of the ordinary change in the death rate. The number is affected by increases or decreases in other categories of deaths, such as traffic accidents and homicides.

But the excessive deaths are a starting point for scientists to assess the overall impact of the pandemic.

The nation surpassed 64,000 coronavirus deaths on Friday, according to state health department data. Weinberger said his team’s estimates of excessive deaths indicate that the true toll of the pandemic to date is probably much higher.

“It’s hard to say how much higher, but our best guess could be in the order of 1.5 times higher,” he said.

The analysis is based on data from death certificates that states compile and send to the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It often takes weeks for a death to be counted in these federal figures, so the counts for the most recent weeks are tentative and inevitably miss many deaths. As time goes by and more information becomes available, the NCHS fills in the data for these weeks – and the number of deaths increases.

For example, earlier this week, the Post reported – based on the Yale team model – that the nation had registered about 15,400 additional deaths between March 1 and April 4. But more recent NCHS data released on Friday found that more than 5,000 more people died overall during this period, bringing the total number of excess deaths to 20,500.

The fact that the picture of overall deaths during this period has changed so much this week underscores how instantaneous the counting of Covid-19 deaths is just a snapshot.

State health services reported on April 4 that about 8,100 people had died of lust 19, according to The Post at the time. These figures excluded the deaths of people who likely died of covid-19, based on symptoms and exposure, but were never tested. They also ruled out certain deaths that had not yet been reported publicly.

NCHS corrects these exclusions. On Sunday, it was reported that as of April 4, approximately 10,500 people had died from Covid-19. As of Friday, after filling out more updated reports, the number was about 11,361, more than 9,000 less than the estimated 20,500 additional deaths.

Examining the number of excess deaths is a critical exercise in understanding the extent of the pandemic, said Eleanor Murray, professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health, who was not involved in the analysis from Yale’s team.

“We know, because we have not done enough testing, that we are absolutely missing a covid case,” she said. “So no matter how many deaths we have, we will certainly underestimate the people who die of lust. “

State and local leaders should study estimates of excessive deaths in their communities and base consequent decisions on reopening businesses and social activities on these figures, rather than strictly using reported coronavirus infections and Covid-related deaths -19, often incomplete and misleading figures Said Murray.

“If you base your decision to open on your reported case numbers or on your reported lust deaths, you are making the wrong decision because these numbers do not reflect what is actually going on in your community,” she said. declared.

Estimating the number of deaths from a disaster is a difficult task. After Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in 2017, an accurate assessment of the dead researchers and the public escaped for months, said Murray.

For nearly a year, local leaders have refused to admit that the number was higher than the official count of 64 – even after a Harvard study estimated that more than 4,600 people had died. In August 2018, a report commissioned by the government of George Washington University established the number of excess deaths at 2,975, a figure then government. Ricardo Rosselló finally kissed, saying he had “made mistakes”.

And Hurricane Maria was a discreet event in one place. Calculating mortality during the coronavirus pandemic – a global disaster that has taken place over the months – will be much more difficult, said Murray.

“Identifying exactly how many people died of seizures and pandemic-related factors is going to be an open scientific question for years,” she said. “And we will probably never have an exact figure. “

Jacqueline Dupree and Monica Ulmanu contributed to this report.

About this story

A research team led by the Yale School of Public Health used historical data on all deaths between 2015 and early 2020, published by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), to model the number of deaths normally expected each week at from March. From April 1 to 11. The estimate takes into account seasonal variations, the intensity of influenza epidemics as well as year-to-year variations in mortality levels.

Details on the team’s statistical approach to estimating seasonal reference deaths can be found in an article published online on the preprint server medRxiv. The method used for this analysis differs in that the researchers did not attempt to correct the delays in reporting, as they did in their previous article. Instead, The Post’s analysis was based only on reported deaths, a more conservative approach to estimating excessive deaths.

The total number of deaths in the United States and for each state was obtained from provisional death data published weekly by the NCHS, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Figures for North Carolina were not up to date and this state is not included in this analysis.

NCHS data is collected from state health services, which report deaths at different rates. It usually takes about three weeks for the death data to stabilize, but even then it is still not complete. As a result, the number of total deaths as of April 11 is expected to continue to increase as states continue to report additional data to the NCHS.

The number of excess deaths was calculated by subtracting the expected seasonal reference from the number of all deaths. Since the seasonal benchmark is an estimate, there is some uncertainty associated with the excessive death figure of 37,100. Based on the only deaths reported so far, there is a 90% chance that the actual number of deaths excess is greater than 33,200, and 70% chance that it will be greater than 35,500. (There is 2.5% chance that the actual number of excess deaths will be less than 31,400, and an equal ” is greater than 43,500).

The death toll from Covid-19 as of April 11 comes from figures released by the NCHS.

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