Coronavirus is likely to become one of the leading causes of death in the US in 2020, Centres for Disease Control (CDC) statisticians have predicted.
While experts cannot officially rank leading causes of death until they have a full year’s worth of data at the end of the calendar year, statisticians at the CDC told CNN that they expect Covid-19 will end up among the Top 10 leading causes of death in the nation.
“We know that based on the # of Covid-19 deaths so far in 2020, it will end up as a Top 10 leading cause of death but won’t know exactly how high it will rank until next year,” CDC mortality statisticians told the broadcaster on Thursday.
“Heart Disease and Cancer, the two leading causes of death in the US, account for more than half of all deaths in the US each year and that isn’t expected to change.”
In 2018, the latest year for which final data is available, the top three causes of death across the country were heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injury. According to the same statistics, 655,381 people died from heart disease in 2018, 599,274 from cancer, and 167,127 from unintentional injury. Other high causes of death in the list included strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, flu and pneumonia, and suicide. Final data are based on death certificates for the calendar year.
The national death toll for the novel coronavirus disease surpassed 100,000 in May and analysts from Washington University’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predicted in early July that the virus could claim 200,000 American lives prior to November’s presidential election. The analysts warned that some 80,000 more Americans could die within the next four months thanks to increased virus transmission.
The country has seen a severe spike in cases of the disease in recent weeks with recorded infections in the US has more than doubled within the last few months, pushing the confirmed number of nationwide infections to more than four million. Nearly 60,000 people were hospitalised for Covid-19 across the US as of Wednesday, nearing the numbers of the pandemic’s April peak.
There have been more than four million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the US and more than 140,000 people have died from the novel respiratory disease as of Friday, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University.