Death rates from the coronavirus are falling in the United States showing that treatments for the coronavirus are advancing, infectious-disease experts told the Wall Street Journal.
Data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington (IHME) shows that the virus is only killing about 0.6% of those infected, the WSJ reported. This death rate has improved since April when the COVID death rate was at about 0.9%, the publication reported.
There have been 260,322 reported COVID deaths in the United States, according to data from John Hopkins University of Medicine, and the United States has reported over 12.5 million confirmed cases of the virus. Coronavirus deaths per million have also been on the rise in the United States for the past several weeks.
Columbia University infectious-disease modeler Jeffrey Shaman told the publication that the current death rate may be much lower than what the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has reported, suggesting the death rate could be about 0.15% which compares to the 0.1% death rate for seasonal influenza.
This improvement in the death rate may be due to the shift in infections to younger people who are less at risk, experts told the Wall Street Journal. But the experts also said that the improvements in the death rate may be “largely linked” to improved patient management and improved patient treatment.
Doctors have discovered less invasive ways to oxygenate patients and do not necessarily need to rely on mechanical ventilation, the publication reported, according to the WSJ.
IHME director Christopher Murray also told the publication that using anti-clotting drugs and the steroid dexamethasone has probably contributed to the death rate improvement.
The experts also warned the WSJ that death rates may rise due to rising coronavirus cases.
“When cases go up, as they are here and in Europe, hospitals get overcrowded and death rates rise,” professor of vaccinology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Florian Krammer told the WSJ.
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