Two new COVID-19 cases, one resolved in Oxford, Elgin counties

Grant Boone
October 14, 2020

By February 2021, the COVID-19 death toll in the country could double to 400,000, according to a model developed at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Yet overall, "these deaths reflect a true measure of the human cost of the Great Pandemic of 2020", Dr. Howard Bauchner, JAMA's editor in chief, and Dr. Phil Fontanarosa, JAMA's executive editor, wrote in an editorial accompanying the new study on Monday.

The researchers analyzed death data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the US Census Bureau.

According to the scientists, including those from the University of Nevada in the United States, the patient, a 25-year old male, was infected with two distinct SARS-CoV-2 variants within a 48-day time frame, while testing negative in between infections.

The coronavirus can survive on banknotes, glass and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, Australian researchers said. "You see a pattern of initially slowly rising and then surging excess deaths in the summer".

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 215,549 reported COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.

These excess deaths weren't caused by an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for the respiratory illness COVID-19.

By examining death certificates, the study found more than 150,000 deaths were officially attributed to COVID-19 during that period.

"Some people who never had the virus may have died because of disruptions caused by the pandemic", Woolf added. "That dragged out the length of their epidemic".

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From a more granular perspective, the new research references fluctuating rises in both heart disease and Alzheimer's disease morality rates over the course of 2020 in the United States.

Combined with the second study's global comparison, the studies "together say something very important", Woolf said.

"You find that the US faltered in each of those steps in a rather dramatic way", Woolf said. For instance, "the USA population is younger but has more comorbidities compared with the other countries", the researchers wrote.

"U.S. citizens were still flying in from China, but more importantly the virus was coming from Europe and there was no ban imposed there until March", Woolf said.

The U.S. was faring better than some high mortality countries, but only in the early stage of the pandemic.

"It is also important to remember that we did not have to have this trajectory with the pandemic", Adalja said.

The United States failed to swing its industrial might behind an effort to develop a testing strategy, Adalja noted. "There was also no effort to augment [personal protective equipment] until it became too late". "They estimate it has essentially stripped away nearly a full year of the whole nation's productivity, in their estimate a cost of $16 trillion".

Iran plans to make mask-wearing mandatory in public in other large cities after imposing it in Tehran to fight rising coronavirus infections, the health minister said on Sunday.

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