Recent Decreases in the COVID19 Death Rate.
Recently we have seen a sharp rise in COVID19 cases without a correspondingly sharp increase in deaths. There has been an increase in deaths, just not at the same rate. In this article, I address the two factors for this difference. Please note this is a summary of information. If you have any questions or seek further information please seek a Doctor (and not one who believes Alien DNA is in our drugs 😀 )
This increase in daily cases in the US can be seen in this chart from worldometers.info from August 8, 2020. The daily rate of new cases has gone from just over 20,000 new cases to around 60,000 new cases.
At the same time, the death rate has not gone up at the same rate as you can see in this chart from Worldmeters.info as of August 8, 2020. The daily death rate declined in May and June even though the daily new cases did not go down.
It is clear from these charts that the daily death rate is not proportionally tied to the daily new cases rate. So what is going on? From March to May there was a 3.6% death rate in LA County from infected people. Now LA county is seeing a death rate of 1.2%. There is more testing, but that that doesn’t explain what is really going on. The USA testing rate has gotten a little better. But remember a test only says if you have COVID19 that day. Tests done a few weeks ago are meaningless.
Infections have gone up. Two months ago the Rt.live effective spread numbers for more than half the states went from green to red. They have since gone down.
There are two factors driving this “good news” that deaths have not gone up as quickly. The first is the difference in demographics and the second is improvements in treatments.
COVID-19 is now affecting more young people than before, That is not surprising given the people I see not wearing masks are in their 20s and 30s. They also tend to be the ones in the crowded bars and other settings not wearing masks. The under 60 die at a lower rate than the over 60. Young adults and children still are dying, but they don’t die at the same rate as older Adults and Seniors.
Improvements in Treatment
Health Care Professionals (HCP) have learned a lot about treating COVID-19.
We now know that there was an overuse of ventilators resulting in negative outcomes (i.e. More Deaths). HCP can now tell the difference between a low oxygen blood level patient that will be helped by a ventilator and those who will not. In many cases turning a patient over on their stomach has a much better outcome. However, there is still a shortage of Ventilators and the HCP who operate them
There is now a drug – Remdesivir- that has proven to help reduce the severity of COVID-19, which shortens the recovery from the infection. Remdesivir was developed under a 70 Million Federal grant and is now owned by Gilead Sciences. They charge $3,100 for a five-day treatment in the US.
For other viruses, steroids have a negative effect, but this is not the case for COVID19. It has been found that Dexamethasone – a steroid – reduces the mortality for patients on ventilators by a third and by a fifth for those requiring oxygen.
A major understanding now is that COVID19 thickens the blood. In one study it showed that blood clots were the cause of 40% of COVID19 deaths. Now Doctors administer anticoagulants to prevent those deaths. However, this does not eliminate 40% of the deaths it just greatly reduces it.
Along with these effective treatments, there are a number of treatments that have not been shown to work even though they are still pushed by non HCP and quark Doctors. For Example, Hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment for COVID-19, according to the FDA, the CDC and the WHO. There are no blinded peer-review studies that show it is effective.
It’s clear that the steep drop in deaths from mid-April to early July was not because of a slight drop in cases, but because of the above reasons.
People need to remember that we worked to flatten the curve for two reasons;
- So hospital ICUs would not be overwhelmed
- To give Doctors time to figure out how to treat COVID-19. China, Italy, and NYC had much higher death rates, but the lessons learned have been widely shared, resulting in lower death rates now.
So should we completely open up? No, even at a 1.2% death rate we’d still have almost 4 million dead in America. The lessons learned In 1918 are still the things that work;
- Wear a mask,
- Social Distancing and avoiding gatherings,
- If you can, stay home (Which was a lot harder pre-internet).
In many areas, ICU beds are filling up again. HCPs are still having trouble getting enough PPE and there are still not enough COVID-19 tests available. It’s sad to hear about friends waiting 2 to 3 days to get a test because supplies have run out. Without federal leadership, the states are forced into a “hunger game” to obtain PPE and Tests. Not a good situation.
All infection and death rate data for this post were attained from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/
All my articles on COVID-19 can be found at http://michaelwhughes.com/2020/07/covid-19-information/