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CDC reports 300K more deaths than expected this year, likely due to COVID-19

CDC reports 300K more deaths than expected this year, likely due to COVID-19
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Nearly 300,000 more people have died so far this year than would be expected in a normal year, likely due to COVID-19 or the pandemic’s indirect impacts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Deaths of people in the 25-44 age group was 25.6 percent higher than expected when compared to similar time periods in previous years, the highest increase for any age group, according to a report published Tuesday. Along racial and ethnic lines, Hispanic or Latino people saw the highest percentage increase in numbers of deaths compared with previous years at 54 percent.

The count of “excess deaths” — deaths that exceed the numbers from previous years — has been used throughout the pandemic to try to determine how many people have died from COVID-19.

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The CDC report found that between late January to Oct. 3, the U.S. had 299,000 more deaths than the typical number during the same time period in previous years.

Only two-thirds of these deaths were directly attributed to COVID-19, potentially because people who died were not tested, or death information was incomplete or inaccurate on death certificates, the report states. Other people might have died because they avoided seeking care for other illnesses during the pandemic.

For example, deaths from Alzheimers, dementia and respiratory diseases have increased in 2020 compared to past years, but it’s not yet clear where these are misclassified COVID-19 deaths or deaths indirectly related to the pandemic from disruptions in health care access, the report states.

Older people are far more likely than young adults and children to die of COVID-19. The analysis found that excess deaths among the 75-84 age group was 95,000 more when compared to similar time periods in previous years.