Where are all the COVID-19 deaths?

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.

Published by jbakerjrblog

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

3 thoughts on “Where are all the COVID-19 deaths?

  1. I hope this is indeed the case, that the high risk people are protecting themselves better than they did earlier, and that along with better strategies for care this will truly limit death rate. But given that death lags several weeks behind, have we waited long enough to be comfortable that it will not show a peak?
    What about the other sequelae of Covid? How well are they being tracked?
    Thanks for your interesting and informative posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your factual, yet hopeful writing. Can’t lose hope for a cure!

    On Thu, Oct 29, 2020 at 10:00 PM Pandemic Pondering wrote:

    > jbakerjrblog posted: ” 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 Unit” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You ask where the deaths are. Per the Free Press today, according to Michigan state data more than 500 Michiganders have died from COVID -19 in October compared to less than 300 in September. Michigan saw more deaths this month than any since May.

      Like

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