Coronavirus May be Leading Cause of Death in 2020

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Image: NIH

In the past two months, coronavirus cases have risen dramatically in all countries that eased their lockdown restrictions, including the US, which now has the highest number of infections in the world. Additionally, new reports show that coronavirus may even be in the top causes of deaths in the US soon.

According to data on the coronavirus death toll in the country, around 155,000 people have lost their lives to the infection in a time span of only three months. Further reports on the crisis have shown that instead of improving, the situation could worsen further in the coming days.

In fact, by the end of August, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the number of deaths per week may reach eleven thousand per month, which can make the coronavirus infection one of the top three causes of deaths in the US.

The infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee William Schaffner, states that the changing trends in the pandemic have been shocking.

The coronavirus infection is, so far, the first illness to cause dramatic changes in statistics and demographics since AIDS and HIV outbreaks as the CDC report estimates that the infection may soon be counted as a major cause of death after only heart disease and cancer.

Reports from several health agencies in the US have predicted that the death toll is bound to rise and it may even increase more than expected.

Recently, data scientists from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IMHE) at the University of Washington have estimated that at least another 230,000 Americans will lose their lives by the end of October.

The professor of global health at the IMHE, Ali Mokdad, explains that the tremendous increase in the expected number of new cases of the infection, as well as deaths, is a result of the country’s response to the pandemic.

Many states have entirely eased the restrictions for controlling the virus due to economic concerns while others have re-imposed them to control the growing number of cases.

However, there is a need for further restrictions to cut down transmission rates now since the vast majority is susceptible to the infection, says Mokdad.

Most historians and scientists believe that the only similar major demographic change that occurred before the current health crisis was the HIV epidemic in the US.

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At the start of the AIDS or HIV crisis, the transmission and death rate was low. After a period of time, the number of cases along with the death toll increased suddenly.

The research on the previous crisis is still ongoing with treatment in the process. Now, the coronavirus infection, which is much more contagious than the HIV virus, has the ability to cause statistical changes in an even shorter span of time.

The coronavirus, unlike AIDS, affects all age groups and can cause complications in both the short and long-term.

Therefore, there is a need for stricter policies for controlling the virus and ultimately stopping it from becoming one of the top leading causes of deaths in the US.

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