Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Alyssa Erdley
Observer Staff 

80% of Covid Deaths Involve Underlying Conditions, According to LA County Health Data for the Last Two Weeks

13 times fewer daily deaths per daily cases than last year

 

February 1, 2022

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UPDATE: LA County Department of Public Health has explained that deaths are regarded as from Covid rather than the underlying condition if any non-accidental/traumatic death occurs less than 30 days of a positive covid test (used to be less than 60 days until recently).

January 27, 2022 - Health officials at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health sporadically release statistics regarding whether deaths listed as from Covid involved underlying conditions. They do not give such data every day.

Over the last two weeks, with over half a million new Covid-19 cases, 830 people have died. For 549 of those deaths, 438 involved underlying conditions. That is 80% of the notated deaths.

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Health officials give varying estimates of the percent of patients listed as hospitalized who are actually suffering from Covid-associated disease. The average appears to be about half. That is, half of the number of people listed by the county as hospitalized with Covid are actually in the hospital specifically because of Covid. The other half came to the hospital for a different reason and happened to test positive for Covid.

It is unknown if officials are listing Covid deaths in the same way, with some individuals actually dying from the "underlying condition" rather than Covid-associated illness. In some cases, it may perhaps be difficult to specify.

The death-to-case ratio for the past two weeks is .0016 or .16%. The deaths occurring during this time period likely involved a diagnosis from an earlier period, so this number is not a true case fatality rate. Nevertheless, it is significantly lower than the death-to-case ratio for the same 2-week period last year, which was 2.1%. That is, there were 13 times more deaths per number of new cases last year.

 
 

Reader Comments(1)

Tails877 writes:

Most older Americans have underlying health problems. Some have multiple problems that are managed with effective healthcare and medication. There is no way to separate causes of death from underlying health issues. The US healthcare system has increased longevity for those with underlying health problems, which means that there are even more of these people who can die of Covid. If longevity is extended to 120, everyone will have managed health issues. Does that mean that NO ONE can truly die of Covid? Why are you unable to make this connection?

 
 
 

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