Covid-19 in the US: Latinos die more than whites 2:13
. – Black, Hispanic and Native American people infected with COVID-19 are four times more likely to be hospitalized than others, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows. ).
In the eight-month period between March 1 and November 7, 70,825 hospitalizations were reported to the CDC. While non-Hispanic whites and blacks accounted for the highest number of hospitalizations, racial and ethnic groups were disproportionately affected.
The rate for Hispanics or Latinos was about 4.2 times the rate for non-Hispanic whites, according to CDC data.
The same was true for Native Americans or Alaska Natives and non-Hispanic blacks, who were hospitalized 4.1 to 3.9 times more than non-Hispanic whites, the CDC said.
Covid-19 and racial group
The findings are in line with reports that non-white Americans have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The number of covid-19 cases among black and Hispanic children and in all ages is higher than in other groups. Black and Hispanic people infected with the virus also died at disproportionately higher rates during the summer.
Health officials have been sounding the alarm for months on this trend, and public health experts say it won’t change unless the same aggravating factors that put these groups at a disadvantage are addressed.
“We have learned a lot about how to treat this disease and also how to prevent it with the use of masks and social distancing,” said Dr. Lisa Cooper, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity. “The problem is that for people who still have problems with access to health care, that doesn’t mean things are looking up for them.”
Some communities of color, including Latinos and Blacks, are often uninsured or distrustful of the health care system. They have higher rates of conditions like hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, which can lead to more serious reactions to COVID-19, Cooper said.
Jarvis Chen, a social epidemiologist at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health, said more people of color have jobs where they may be exposed to the virus in areas such as healthcare, food production and public transportation.
If they do get sick, many fear that their health could affect their ability to financially support their families in the short and long term.
“These are real situations that people have to deal with that affect the possibility of people feeling that they have no other option in terms of being able to stay home even if they have symptoms that could in fact be symptoms of covid-19,” said Chen, whose research focuses on social inequalities in health.
How it influences families
Knowing that Blacks and Latinos were at higher risk for complications from Covid-19 has influenced some of the decisions families are making.
Irene Skinner, who lives in Jefferson County, Alabama, has five daughters who attend virtual classes to avoid exposure to the virus.
“I don’t want to take risks and put myself at risk, not my children, not my mother,” Skinner told CNN affiliate WBRC.
The county’s population is roughly 43% black, according to US Census data.There have been more than 26,000 positive cases of covid-19 in the county and 27% of them involved black people. Of the more than 400 people who have died from COVID-19 in Jefferson County, about 48% were black, according to data from county health and emergency management officials.
Van Phillips, principal of the high school one of Skinner’s daughters attends, reached out to families to explain how Covid-19 disproportionately impacts black and Hispanic people.
Study from home due to covid
Now the school has the highest percentage of students learning from home, WBRC reported, citing data provided by Jefferson County Schools.
“There are some things we have to do to save our lives,” Phillips told WBRC.
For Chen, the CDC findings should be a wake-up call for health officials to think about the distribution of personal protective equipment, reasonable sick pay policies and the possible distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine.
“Demographics tell part of the story, but it should really lead us to think about how we target the populations that will benefit the most in terms of protecting them,” Chen said.