Monday, September 26, 2022

2021 surpasses 2020 as America’s deadliest year


2021 surpasses 2020 as America's deadliest year

U.S. health officials say 2021 will be even more deadly than last year.

It is too early to say for sure, as all death reports for November and December will not be in many weeks. But based on the information available, it looks like the record number of deaths last year will exceed last year’s low by 15,000 by 2021, said Robert Anderson, who oversees death statistics at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last year was the deadliest in U.S. history, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A CDC report released Wednesday shows that 2020 was actually worse than the agency previously reported.

The report provides the final figure for 3.384 million deaths in the United States for the past year, about 25,000 more than the preliminary estimate released earlier this year. Such leaps between tentative and final numbers are common, but the difference in 2020 was higher than usual due to lagging death records in some states that have switched to new electronic reporting systems, Anderson said.

The CDC also revised its 2020 life expectancy estimate this week. Life expectancy at birth this year was 77 years, down 1.8 years from 2019. Previously, the agency estimated the decline at 1.5 years.

Anderson said it is likely that more than 3.4 million people will die in the country in 2021. Other experts said they believed the number of deaths per year will be about the same as in 2020, or more.

“This is really sad,” said Ali Mokdad, an expert on mortality statistics at the University of Washington.

An important cause is COVID-19, which hit the U.S. hard around March 2020 and became the country’s third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.

Last year, COVID-19 was the leading cause of approximately 351,000 deaths. According to Anderson, this year their number is already 356 thousand, and the final number may reach 370 thousand.

Experts also believe the 2021 numbers will be impacted by the drug overdose epidemic, which is expected to exceed 100,000 deaths in a calendar year for the first time.

The increase in annual deaths is not uncommon. The annual number increased by almost 16,000 from 2018 to 2019 – before the advent of COVID-19.

But the coronavirus has clearly worked. The country had the lowest population growth rate on record from July 2020 to July 2021, according to Kenneth Johnson, a researcher at the University of New Hampshire, primarily due to deaths from COVID-19.

Officials hoped that COVID-19 vaccines would reduce deaths. But vaccinations became available gradually this year: only 7 million were fully vaccinated at the end of January and 63 million at the end of March.

Since then, many Americans have refused to vaccinate. The CDC says 204 million Americans are fully vaccinated, or about 65% of the US population age 5 and older who are eligible for the vaccine.

Indeed, this is a big part of why COVID-19 deaths could rise despite the availability of effective vaccines, Mokdad said. The emergence of new, more transmissible variants of the coronavirus has only exacerbated the problem, he said.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.

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