The Chinese virus pandemic, potentially including the associated lockdowns, is “most likely indirectly” the culprit behind tens of thousands of the 356,000 higher than usual deaths since the disease intensified early this year, an analysis by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data reportedly shows.
Referring to its analysis of excess deaths related and non-related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the New York Times reported Sunday:
Some of these additional [non-coronavirus] deaths may actually have been due to Covid-19, but they could have been undiagnosed or misattributed to other causes.
Many of them are most likely indirectly related to the virus and caused by disruptions from the pandemic, including strains on health care systems, inadequate access to supplies like ventilators or people avoiding hospitals for fear of exposure to the coronavirus.
Other factors related to the pandemic like social isolation and challenges in getting emergency services could also have contributed to deaths, [Dr. Steven Woolf, director emeritus of the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University,] said.
In May, U.S. health officials anticipated that the spread of coronavirus and the associated shutdowns that restricted movement outside the home would potentially disrupt the American health care system’s ability to continue providing routine preventive and other non-emergency care, such as vaccinations.
About a couple of months later, top U.S. health officials such as Dr. Robert Redfield, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed children and their communities are now at risk for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.
They attributed the problem to the pandemic and the associated lockdowns disrupting pediatric outpatient visits and routine childhood vaccinations in America, leaving children and their communities vulnerable to potential outbreaks of preventable diseases such as measles.
The Times revealed:
At least 356,000 more people in the United States have died than usual since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the country in the spring. But not all of these deaths have been directly linked to Covid-19.
More than a quarter of deaths above normal have been from other causes, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure, and pneumonia ….
The Times identified the percentage of the non-coronavirus disease (COVID-19) excess fatalities as diabetes (15 percent), Alzheimer’s disease (12 percent), high blood pressure (11 percent), pneumonia and flu (11 percent), coronary heart disease (six percent), stroke (5 percent), sepsis (four percent), Kidney failure (1 percent).
“Data are from March 15 to Nov. 14. Not all causes are included. Deaths from external causes, such as suicides and drug overdoses, are not available because investigations are still underway in most cases,” the newspaper noted.
There is currently a patchwork of guidelines for reporting deaths across America, with some jurisdictions reporting probable coronavirus fatalities with underlying health conditions or comorbidities while others only count those directly linked to the disease.
According to research, individuals with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease are particularly susceptible to severe illness or succumbing to the coronavirus if they catch the virus.