The Missing Deaths: Autopsies Uncover Hidden Victims From Early February; Year-Over-Year Data Reveal Uncounted
New information from two individuals who died at home in early- and mid-February suggest that the virus was likely circulating in the country earlier than officials thought. Meanwhile, a look at year-over-year fatality data reveals that there are likely thousands of COVID-19 deaths that aren't getting counted. Meanwhile, CDC Director Robert Redfield warns it's likely the winter surge will be worse because it will coincide with the flu season.
The New York Times:
Santa Clara County Coronavirus Death Is First Known In U.S.
Officials in Santa Clara County, Calif., announced late Tuesday that two residents there died of the coronavirus in early and mid-February, making them the earliest known victims of the pandemic in the United States. The new information may shift the timeline of the virus’s spread through the country weeks earlier than previously believed. The first report of a coronavirus-related death in the United States came on Feb. 29 in the Seattle area, although officials there later discovered that two people who had died Feb. 26 also had the virus. (Fuller and Baker, 4/22)
First U.S. Coronavirus Death Occurred In Early February In California
"The Medical Examiner-Coroner performed autopsies on two individuals who died at home on February 6, 2020 and February 17, 2020", Santa Clara County Public Health said in a statement. “Today, the Medical Examiner-Coroner received confirmation from the CDC that tissue samples from both cases are positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19)”, the statement added. (Singh, 4/22)
Los Angeles Times:
Coronavirus: Bay Area Deaths In February Were First In U.S.
Dr. Jeff Smith, a physician who is the chief executive of Santa Clara County government, said earlier this month that data collected by the CDC, local health departments and others suggest it was “a lot longer than we first believed” — most likely since “back in December.” “This wasn’t recognized because we were having a severe flu season,” Smith said in an interview. “Symptoms are very much like the flu. If you got a mild case of COVID, you didn’t really notice. You didn’t even go to the doctor. The doctor maybe didn’t even do it because they presumed it was the flu.” (Hamilton, St. John and Lin, 4/21)
The New York Times:
28,000 Missing Deaths: Tracking The True Toll Of The Coronavirus Crisis
At least 28,000 more people have died during the coronavirus pandemic over the last month than the official Covid-19 death counts report, a review of mortality data in 11 countries shows — providing a clearer, if still incomplete, picture of the toll of the crisis. In the last month, far more people died in these countries than in previous years, The New York Times found. The totals include deaths from Covid-19 as well as those from other causes, likely including people who could not be treated as hospitals became overwhelmed. (Wu and McCann, 4/21)
The New York Times:
State By State: Comparing Coronavirus Death Rates Across U.S.
Since the first confirmed case, the coronavirus has spread to all 50 states, claiming the lives of Americans coast to coast. This week, several Southern governors announced that they would ease restrictions on businesses. As governors in other parts of the country form coalitions to strategize lifting stay-at-home orders, a look at regional patterns reveals the challenges they will face as they try to combat the crisis. (Gamio, 4/22)
U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Top 45,000, Doubling In Little Over A Week: Reuters Tally
U.S. coronavirus deaths topped 45,000 on Tuesday doubling in a little over a week and rising by a near-record amount in a single day, according to a Reuters tally. The United States has by far the world’s largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases at over 810,000, almost four times as many as Spain, the country with the second-highest number. Globally, cases topped 2.5 million on Tuesday. U.S. deaths increased by more than 2,750 on Tuesday alone, just shy of a peak of 2,806 deaths in a single day on April 15. (Shumaker, 4/21)
US Coronavirus: America Could See A Higher Summer Death Toll And CDC Warns Of A Possibly Worse Coronavirus Outbreak In Winter
A leading US model has upped its projected coronavirus death toll in August to 66,000 -- a 10% increase from its previous prediction. The change came as states began updating their number of deaths, adding residents of nursing homes who officials are now counting as presumptive positives, Dr. Chris Murray, the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, said Tuesday. (Maxouris, 4/22)
CDC Chief Warns Second COVID-19 Wave May Be Worse, Arriving With Flu Season
A second wave of the coronavirus is expected to hit the United States next winter and could strike much harder than the first because it would likely arrive at the start of influenza season, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned on Tuesday. (4/21)
The Washington Post:
CDC Director Warns Second Wave Of Coronavirus Is Likely To Be Even More Devastating
“We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time,” he said. Having two simultaneous respiratory outbreaks would put unimaginable strain on the health-care system, he said. The first wave of covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has already killed more than 42,000 people across the country. It has overwhelmed hospitals and revealed gaping shortages in test kits, ventilators and protective equipment for health-care workers. (Sun, 4/21)
Michael Osterholm: Infectious Disease Expert Says We're Only In The Second Inning Of The Pandemic
Infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm, who has been warning for a decade and a half about the possibility of a global pandemic, said the coronavirus we're fighting is at least as infectious as the one that killed an estimated 50 million people in the 1918 flu worldwide outbreak. He said we're only in the second inning of a nine-inning contest, with the possibility of as many as 800,000 deaths or more in the US over the next 18 months. (Bergen, 4/21)