COVID-19 toll in the U.S. is likely higher than the official count due to state differences

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                Le nombre de décès entre mars et mai officiellement répertoriés comme dus au COVID-19 était de 95 235, soit 28% de moins que le nombre excédentaire, selon l'étude. 
            

Washington: Selon une étude publiée mercredi, le nombre d'Américains décédés de COVID-19 de mars à mai était considérablement plus élevé que le dénombrement officiel américain, en partie en raison des écarts de déclaration au niveau de l'État.

The total number of deaths in the United States from any cause listed by the National Center for Health Statistics in March, April, and May was 781,000, 122,300 more than the historical average for the period, according to the study funded by the National Institutes of Health and private foundations published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The number of deaths from March to May officially listed as due to COVID-19 was 95,235, 28% less than this excess number. A Reuters The tally for the period that includes “probable” deaths from COVID-19 was higher, at 103,649.

Media reports have suggested that many early deaths in nursing homes or those attributed to pneumonia rather than COVID-19 may have contributed to undercoverage.

“Determining the cause of death on a death certificate is not an exact science,” said Daniel Weinberger, lead author of the Yale School of Public Health study.

“It is possible that someone who had COVID-19 and started pneumonia may have pneumonia listed as the cause of death. While another jurisdiction may have COVID as the cause, “he said, adding:” The coding of a person’s death can vary considerably from person to person and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. ‘other. ”

In several states, deaths that could have been attributed to the coronavirus later occurred before the COVID-19 diagnostic tests were widely available.

“Some states had a good match between the number of reported coronavirus deaths and the total number. Washington State and Minnesota have almost no difference, but in South Carolina and Texas there is a big difference, “said Weinberger.

Other studies have found that fears about the coronavirus keep people with symptoms of heart attack or stroke away from emergency rooms, which could contribute to the increase in deaths.

Concerns have also been expressed about the increased risk of suicide and drug overdose, triggered by unemployment caused by the pandemic.

“You can certainly see that things like heart attacks and strokes and people who have died with a major cause like Alzheimer’s have increased,” said Weinberger. “But when you look at the magnitude, it’s even smaller than coronavirus deaths. ”

The reporting gaps for COVID-19 deaths have narrowed considerably in recent weeks, as diagnostic tests have become more available and awareness of the disease has increased, Weinberger said.

“Things are much better now than they were in March,” he said.

            

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