Health experts say if Americans aren’t serious about wearing masks and carelessly socializing, the death toll will continue to rise this fall and winter.
Here’s a look at how deadly Covid-19 is compared to several other causes of death in the U.S. To get a more balanced picture, we took the five-year average through 2018, the last available year of data for most causes.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, coronavirus has killed 250,000 people in the United States in less than 10 months.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 24,166 people die in car accidents each year. (The number includes drivers or passengers killed in a car accident, not others such as cyclists or pedestrians who were killed as a result of a car accident.)
This means that at least ten times more people died of Covid-19 this year than in car accidents over a whole year.
Flu and Covid-19
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 42,200 people died from the flu every year from 2014 to 2018.
In less than 10 months, Covid-19 deaths have reached more than five times the average annual flu deaths.
Not only is the new coronavirus more deadly than the flu, it’s also much more contagious than the flu.
Suicides and Covid-19
The number of Covid-19 deaths is now five times higher than the number of suicidal deaths per year.
According to CDC data, an average of 45,439 people died from suicide from 2014 to 2018.
New York University researchers fear that the number of suicides will be higher in 2020 due to pandemic stress. How to get help if you or a loved one have thoughts of suicide
Heart disease and Covid-19
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. According to CDC data, an average of 670,595 people die from heart disease each year.
While Covid-19 is not expected to exceed the death toll for a full year, the daily death toll from Covid-19 could soon surpass the daily death rate from heart disease, said Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
He cited the Department of Health Metrics and Assessment at the University of Washington, which predicted Covid-19 will kill 2,500 people a day in the U.S. in January.
“In practical terms, this means that Covid-19 could be the leading cause of death in the United States every day,” said Hotez.
According to the American Heart Association, an average of 2,353 people died daily from cardiovascular disease (including heart disease), according to 2017 data.
The U.S. reported 1,707 new Covid-19 deaths on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. (The 7-day average of daily deaths was 1,156.)
Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor in the medical school at George Washington University, said the current daily death toll “reflects the number of people who were infected three weeks ago – two to three weeks ago, because that’s the delay” between infections and deaths.
“Two to three weeks ago we saw an average of 70,000 to 80,000 (new) cases a day,” said Reiner.
But the number of new cases on Tuesday was much higher: 161,934, according to Johns Hopkins.
“So if you’re alarmed about the 1,700 deaths … in two to three weeks we’re going to see 3,000 deaths a day.”
Cancer and Covid-19
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US and that is unlikely to change this year.
According to CDC data, an average of 612,725 people die from cancer each year in the US.
Strokes and Covid-19
According to CDC data, an average of 141,952 people die from stroke each year in the United States.
In less than 10 months, Covid-19 killed around 1.8 times as many people as strokes typically did in 12 months.