I wrote earlier this week about the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Europe. One abnormality in the infection peak now being experienced is that COVID-19 deaths are not increasing proportionally. This is similar to what’s now being seen in the United States where we are clearly in the third peak of infectious activity, but have not seen the massive numbers of deaths that we saw early on, although deaths continue to be occurring at a stable rate.
Just for reference, I have provided this figure that shows the total number of cases in the U.S. It shows clearly there is a third peak.
A very good interactive display in the New York Times shows that this dichotomy appears to be worldwide. Multiple countries are experiencing marked increases in the number of COVID-19 cases, including the United States.
In contrast, the number of countries that have increasing numbers of deaths appears to be much more limited and involves only a few smaller regions.
While we don’t fully understand the lack of deaths associated with this most recent rise in infections, it may very well be that younger people are being infected, or that treatment approaches are better. In the U.S., both seem to be having an effect. In any case, this is an incredibly hopeful trend.
If deaths are controlled, the next step should be more aggressive management early in the disease to prevent hospitalizations. If this can be done, it will go a long way toward improving the situation for healthcare systems around the world.