Brief update on Europe

The EU and Britain have seen significant increases in COVID-19 cases, especially in countries with prior outbreaks. Unlike the U.S., these countries did not have a second peak this summer, but there are several differences from the earlier peak that deserve mention.

Spain, France, and the UK continue to lead the infection count, and the numbers are as high as the first peak. However, Germany, Finland, Norway, and Greece have lower case counts this time.

The European CDC also points out that death rates are much lower in all countries compared to the first episode, which parallels the experience in the U.S. and Asia. Germany, the Netherlands, and the Nordic countries all have the lowest death rates, which is similar to before.

Of interest, Sweden now has one of the lowest death rates. Whether this is due to their prior embrace of herd immunity or new measures to protect the elderly is not clear.

Most countries in Europe are now placing significant limitations on movements or stay in place orders. Hopefully this will stem infections, but at least deaths are significantly lower than before. Watching hospitalization rates may be the best way to monitor this process given the reductions in deaths.

Published by jbakerjrblog

Immunologist, former Army MD, former head of allergy and clinical immunology at University of Michigan, vaccine developer and opinionated guy.

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