Researchers have found that cases of “Covid-19” may be on the increase in most parts of the world, but death rates are declining, and this may be due to the age of those infected and the better treatment of the virus.
CNN reported that the infection of young people with the Coronavirus is most likely one of the factors that have led to the decrease in the death rate since the start of the epidemic last spring, according to statistics from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDP).
Researchers at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine analyzed data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and found that across the United States, 6.7% of cases resulted in death in April, compared to 1.9% in September.
Meanwhile, the UK’s death rate was just under 3% at the end of June. By August, it was down around 0.5% and now hovering around 0.75%.
“We think it might be driven a lot by age, but also by other factors, such as treatment,” said Jason Oak, chief statistician at Nuffield’s Division of Primary Health Care Sciences.
And between January and May, the average age of “Covid-19” patients was about 54, according to the ECDP. In June and July, it dropped to 39.
Older people are more likely to succumb to the virus that has devastated nursing homes, including in New York, where as many as 11,000 people have died, according to the Associated Press.
Data from the London School of Economics also found that, on average, 46% of all Covid-19 deaths in 21 countries occurred in care homes, according to CNN.
Experts say treatment has also improved since the early days of the global health crisis.
“While COVID-19 is still a terrible disease, our efforts to improve treatment are likely working,” said lead author of the New York University study, Dr. Liora Horowitz, associate professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Health.
And ventilators – which may have caused more harm than good – are now being used to a lesser extent, with doctors turning to other methods of treatment, such as placing patients in the prone position to enable better breathing.
Doctors also see good results from the anti-viral drug “Remdisiver”, which was approved last week by the US Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for “Covid-19”.
However, experts warn that the staggering death rates at the height of the epidemic may have been skewed by testing.
Dr. Julian Tang told CNN: “If you only test cases that show symptoms, you may significantly reduce the number of infections if the infection rate is without significant symptoms.”
A clinical virologist and associate professor emeritus at the University of Leicester notes that as many as 60 to 70% of cases can be asymptomatic, according to some studies.
“So the reported case mortality rate may be disproportionately high at the start of the epidemic, but it decreases later as the disease progresses, as we test more asymptomatic cases” to mitigate “this apparent death rate,” Tang said.
Source: New York Post