COVID-19 Infection Rates Up, Mortality Down as the United States Leads the World in New Cases and Number of Deaths

The United States has become the country in the world with the highest number of confirmed cases — now exceeding 3 million. The total number of confirmed cases in the world is approaching 13 million on Sunday July 12, 2020. Also, the U.S. coronavirus death toll exceeded 135,000, followed by Brazil with over 71,000 fatalities on Sunday July 12, 2020.

Next among the countries with the highest mortality figures is the United Kingdom with almost 45,000 deaths, Italy with almost 35,000 deaths and Mexico with almost 35,000 deaths. With these figures, the United States is estimated to lead with over 23% of all Coronavirus-related deaths in the world, while representing about 4% of the entire world’s population.

The estimated population of the world is 7.8 billion people with the United States (331,069,809) ranking third after China (1,439,515,588) and India (1,380,476,272) on Sunday July 12, 2020.

In some states, record-breaking numbers of new cases have been recorded over the past few weeks. Florida reported a record-breaking figure of 15,299 confirmed Coronavirus cases on Sunday. The figure is higher than any state’s figure of new cases and beats Florida’s previous record of 11,458 new cases on Saturday July 11, 2020, and 11,433 new cases on Friday July 10, 2020.

Recently only four states have reported a decline in the number of new cases — Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

The recent surge in cases within the United States is trending upward among younger people, with the average age of infected people dropping by 15 years.

The COVID-19 Resource Center at the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) reported in a document titled “The Future of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned from Pandemic Influenza,” described three possible scenarios of the COVID-19 pandemic outcome.

Scenario 1: The first wave of COVID-19 in spring 2020 is followed by a series of repetitive smaller waves that occur through the summer and then consistently over a 1- to 2-year period, gradually diminishing sometime in 2021. The occurrence of these waves may vary geographically and may depend on what mitigation measures are in place and how they are eased. Depending on the height of the wave peaks, this scenario could require periodic reinstitution and subsequent relaxation of mitigation measures over the next 1 to 2 years.

Scenario 2: The first wave of COVID-19 in spring 2020 is followed by a larger wave in the fall or winter of 2020 and one or more smaller subsequent waves in 2021. This pattern will require the reinstitution of mitigation measures in the fall in an attempt to drive down spread of infection and prevent healthcare systems from being overwhelmed. This pattern is similar to what was seen with the 1918-19 pandemic (CDC 2018). During that pandemic, a small wave began in March 1918 and subsided during the summer months. A much larger peak then occurred in the fall of 1918. A third peak occurred during the winter and spring of 1919; that wave subsided in the summer of 1919, signaling the end of the pandemic. The 1957-58 pandemic followed a similar pattern, with a smaller spring wave followed by a much larger fall wave (Saunders-Hastings 2016). Successive smaller waves continued to occur for several years (Miller 2009). The 2009-10 pandemic also followed a pattern of a spring wave followed by a larger fall wave (Saunders-Hastings 2016).

Scenario 3: The first wave of COVID-19 in spring 2020 is followed by a “slow burn” of ongoing transmission and case occurrence, but without a clear wave pattern. Again, this pattern may vary somewhat geographically and may be influenced by the degree of mitigation measures in place in various areas. While this third pattern was not seen with past influenza pandemics, it remains a possibility for COVID-19. This third scenario likely would not require the reinstitution of mitigation measures, although cases and deaths will continue to occur.

The document described that whichever “scenario the pandemic follows (assuming at least some level of ongoing mitigation measures), we must be prepared for at least another 18 to 24 months of significant COVID-19 activity, with hot spots popping up periodically in diverse geographic areas. As the pandemic wanes, it is likely that SARS-CoV-2 will continue to circulate in the human population and will synchronize to a seasonal pattern with diminished severity over time, as with other less pathogenic coronaviruses, such as the betacoronaviruses OC43 and HKU1, (Kissler 2020) and
past pandemic influenza viruses have done.”

The document also described that “risk communication messaging from government officials should incorporate the concept that this pandemic will not be over soon and that people need to be prepared for possible periodic resurgences of disease over the next 2 years.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported Friday July 10, 2020 that “based on death certificate data, the percentage of deaths attributed to Pneumonia, Influenza or COVID-19 (PIC) decreased from 6.9% during week 26 to 5.5% during week 27, representing the eleventh week of a declining percentage of deaths due to PIC. The percentage is currently below the epidemic threshold but will likely change as more death certificates are processed, particularly for recent weeks.”

The CDC also reported that American Indian or Alaska native persons, Black persons, and Hispanic or Latino persons have a rate of hospitalization that is over 4 to almost 6 times the rate of hospitalization for White persons.

See also …

COVID-19: The CIDRAP Viewpoint | Part 1: The Future of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned from Pandemic Influenza (April 30th, 2020) [PDF]

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Key Updates for Week 27, ending July 4, 2020

U.S. and World Population Clock

worldometer | Current World Population



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