Monday, May 11, 2020

Covid-19 Testing and the REAL Death Toll Numbers

5-11-2020 - According to the latest updates by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC),   8,987,524 Americans have been tested for Covid-19 so far, with over 300,000 new tests being given daily. Only about 14.8% of people tested have the coronavirus, with 1,329,799  tests being positive. As the number of tests given increases, the percentage of those testing positive continues to decline.

There are currently 79,528 provisional deaths attributed to Covid-19 in the United States, as reported by the CDC. However, this total is likely somewhat inflated. According to the CDC, this preliminary death total includes not only deaths confirmed to be from Covid-19, but also deaths from suspected or presumed cases, some of which may not actually be from Covid-19.

CDC did NOT revise the Covid-19 death total downward.

Rumors have been circulating across social media for a couple of weeks now that the CDC has sharply revised the number of Covid-19 deaths downwards, with folks pointing to a chart on the CDC website showing roughly half the death toll of the official number. However, this is based on a misunderstanding of what the second chart actually tracks.

The provisional official death toll according to the CDC is 79,528 as of the latest update. This number is the current, real-time total of the number of Covid-19 deaths reported on state-issused death certificates. As stated earlier, this total is probably inflated because, as the CDC freely admits, it may include not only deaths confirmed to be Covid-19 related, but also deaths suspected or presumed to be Covid-19 related. without having been confirmed by lab tests.

The second chart, which currently shows 47,128 Covid-19 related deaths, is compiled from data reported to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). This data is NOT current, real-time reports, but rather is delayed by several weeks, allowing for lab test results to be completed. Therefore, this number is likely more accurate, having waited for the test results, but outdated by a few weeks because of the delay awaiting test results. This number does NOT yet include deaths within the last 2 to 3 weeks. Thus, the difference between the two numbers.

So what is the real death toll?

The current real death toll cannot be known in real time. It can only be estimated, which is what the official, yet provisional, death toll of 79,528 reports. This provisional number will likely be somewhat inflated due to the tinclusion of suspected or presumed cases.

HOWEVER, it the current real death toll IS definitely higher than the 47,128 reported by the NCHS due to the time lag of weeks in their death toll. The real number can be found somewhere between these two numbers, and will only be positively known after the pandemic is over.
---------------------  The Survival Medicine Handbook: THE essential guide for when medical help is NOT on the way, by Dr. Joe Alton and Nurse Amy Alton.


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