Covid-19 Deaths in U.S. Level Off as Delta Variant Surge Eases

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There have been more than 80,000 deaths in the US in the last two months

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The surge has pushed north, hitting states from Idaho and Montana to Maine. But the coolness in places like Florida has helped slow the national numbers, epidemiologists say. Cases began to drop nationally in early September, leading to a decline, and the death toll trailed the case trend by several weeks.

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Public-health researchers have chalked up the easing in delta growth to a number of factors. Researchers say spikes in hospitalizations and deaths may have encouraged some people to take more precautions, and Delta’s rapid spread has raised the ranks of those who now have immune protection from infection. and help slow the spread of the virus, researchers say.

Some states, such as Texas and Florida, have also increasingly turned to monoclonal antibodies to treat infected people, as the treatments can help patients who receive them early to avoid potentially hospitalization. .

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Johns Hopkins data show, the US recorded nearly 82,000 additional Covid-19 deaths through Wednesday in August and September, more than four times the number of known Covid-19 deaths for the past two months.

Robert Kim said, “Given that the vast majority of serious illness and deaths are now occurring in the unvaccinated, that this is really now an unvaccinated epidemic, most of the deaths we’ve seen in this surge are entirely can be stopped.” Farley, a medical epidemiologist and professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

America’s pandemic-long death toll, now more than 696,000, recently eclipsed the estimated number of 675,000 deaths from a flu pandemic a century ago. The population of America today is almost three times more than it was then.

Since August 1, Florida has represented one-fifth of all US COVID-19 deaths, according to Jason Salemi, an epidemiologist and associate professor at the College of Public Health in South Florida, who compiled the Florida data’s dashboard. holds on. As of August 1, the state represented between 6% and 7% of US Covid-19 deaths, he said. US Census data shows that Florida represents about 6.5% of the US population.

He believes that once data reporting has taken hold and fully covered the delta increase, it will show that Florida’s deaths peaked in early September.

“Delta has burned through the population,” he said.

There are indications, at least, that vaccination has helped reduce the worst outcomes during delta rise, as many older people are vaccinated, and the risk of COVID-19 mortality increases with age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 65% of the U.S. population eligible for the shots is now fully vaccinated, but the rate is up to 83% for people 65 and older.

write to John Kamp at [email protected]

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