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. – In less than 10 months, Covid-19 has killed more people than strokes, suicides, and car accidents combined in a full year.
The victims include an elderly father and his adult daughter who died within moments of each other. Two parents who died before their son’s fifth birthday. In rare cases, they even include children with no known health problems.
Health experts say that if Americans don’t take mask use more seriously and avoid careless socialization, the death rate will continue to rise this fall and winter.
Here’s a look at how deadly covid-19 is compared to other causes of death in the United States. For a more balanced picture, we take the annual five-year average through 2018, the latest available year of data for most causes.
Car accidents and covid-19
The coronavirus has killed 250,000 people in the United States in less than 10 months, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
On average, 24,166 people die each year in car accidents, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (The number includes drivers and passengers who died in car accidents, not others such as bicyclists or pedestrians who died as a result of car accidents.)
That means that at least 10 times more people have died from COVID-19 so far this year than those who generally die in car accidents for an entire year.
Flu and covid-19
An average of 42,200 people died from the flu each year from 2014 to 2018, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Therefore, in less than 10 months, deaths from covid-19 have reached more than five times the average number of annual deaths from flu.
The new coronavirus is not only more deadly than the flu, it is also much more contagious.
Suicides and covid-19
The number of deaths from covid-19 is now five times higher than suicide deaths each year.
On average, 45,439 people died each year from suicide between 2014 and 2018, according to CDC data.
Researchers at New York University are concerned that the number of suicides will be higher in 2020 due to pandemic stress.
Heart disease and covid-19
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. An average of 670,595 people die each year from this cause, according to CDC data.
While covid-19 is not expected to overtake heart disease in the number of deaths for an entire year, the daily death toll from covid-19 could soon exceed the daily death rate from heart disease, said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of Tropical Medicine at Baylor School of Medicine.
The expert cited the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, which projected that COVID-19 will kill 2,500 people per day in the United States in January.
“What that means, in practical terms, is that Covid-19 could be the leading cause of death in the United States on a daily basis,” Hotez said.
According to the American Heart Association, an average of 2,353 people die each day from cardiovascular disease (including heart disease), according to data from 2017.
On Tuesday, the United States reported 1,707 new deaths from covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. (The seven-day average of daily deaths was 1,156.)
Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor at George Washington University School of Medicine, said that the current daily death count “reflects the number of people who were getting infected three weeks ago, two or three weeks ago, because that’s the gap »between infections and deaths.
“On average, two to three weeks ago we were seeing 70,000 to 80,000 (new) cases per day,” Reiner said.
But the number of new cases Tuesday was much higher: 161,934, according to Johns Hopkins.
“So if you are alarmed by the 1,700 deaths … two to three weeks from now we will see 3,000 deaths per day,” he said.
Cancer and covid-19
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. And that is not expected to change this year.
An average of 612,725 people die from cancer in the country each year, according to CDC data.
Stroke and covid-19
An average of 141,952 people in the United States die from strokes each year, according to data from the CDC.
Therefore, in less than 10 months, Covid-19 has killed approximately 1.8 times more people than strokes in 12 months.