Dr. Fauci Reveals Why COVID Death Rate is Lower Than in Spring
With coronavirus cases breaking records across the country—we've had four days in a week in which there were well more than 100,00 cases daily—hospitalizations are also increasing. Some cities in Texas, Utah and Missouri are seeing a shortage of ICU beds or are opening field hospitals. One curious development—a silver lining in a dark and stormy world—is that death rates aren't rising as fast. America has had 233,000 deaths this year attributed to COVID, but patients are dying at a far slower pace than they were in the Spring. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, explained why that's the case in an interview Saturday with the American Medical Association (AMA). Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Why Did Dr. Fauci Say the Death Rate Was Not as Bad as it Was in the Spring?
Host James Madara, MD, AMA CEO and EVP asked Fauci: "The death rate now, compared with the terrible months of March and April, [is lower]—what part is that attributed that we just know how to deal with this better versus testing versus we're dealing with a more resilient population now getting infected. How do we put all those things together and understand that lower death rate?"
"It's all of the above," answered Fauci. "First of all, as we've learned with every disease that's new and that we've been challenged with, from HIV to other types of diseases, we just get better at treating people, more experienced, you know, what works, you know, what doesn't work, including just fundamental non-pharmacological approaches. You know, whether to put people on ventilators or not, whether to make oxygen be much more prevalent than intubation. Those are the kinds of things that we've learned."
"Number two," he went on, "we have treatments. Now we know that dexamethasone clearly diminishes the death rate in people requiring mechanical ventilation and or high flow oxygen. We have remdesivir for hospitalized patients who have lung involvement. And also we're starting to see a younger population get infected."
"In fact," he went on, "if you look at the age range for people getting infected now, versus people that were getting infected in the spring, there's almost a decade difference of being younger. Now, mostly because college kids coming back to school, they're getting infected more. Ultimately they're going to wind up affecting people in the community, but they're the ones that are sort of driving the infection. So it's age, experience and better drugs."
Despite Deaths Not Rising as High as in the Spring, Dr. Fauci Had This Warning
Despite this good news, there was a dark underlining. First of all, people are still dying horrible deaths. Secondly, many of the patients who aren't dying—they also don't get better or anywhere near back to their "old selves." "We do know for absolutely certain that there is a post COVID-19 syndrome referred to sometimes as 'long COVID,' 'chronic COVID,' 'long haulers,' it's got different names. .. And we're seeing variable percentages in anywhere from 25 to 35% or more have lingering symptoms. Well beyond what you'd expect post any viral syndrome like influenza and others, it's fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle aches, dysautonomia, sleep disturbances. And what people refer to as brain fog, which is a nonmedical way of describing a lack of ability to concentrate or to focus."
If you've experienced any of the symptoms mentioned here, contact a medical professional immediately. As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear your face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.