Contagious Disease Current Events HC Statistics

COVID-19 now top 20 cause of death worldwide

On March 9, I wrote a post titled “COVID-19 in context” which showed that COVID-19 was the 27th leading cause of death worldwide. Now that we are two weeks later, it is worth revisiting where we are.

As you can see from the WHO situation report from March 22, the growth in the number of COVID-19 has been exponential. As of this post, there have been 292,142 cases worldwide including 17,784 deaths. However, the rates of infection and death are increasing exponentially as the number of deaths per day in the last 3 days have increased from 1061 to 1344 to 1600.

Overall, we see that COVID-19 is now one of the top 20 causes of death worldwide, ranking #17 if we extrapolate today’s daily rate throughout the year. It has surpassed homicide and Parkinson’s is is just slightly behind other worldwide killers malaria, suicide, HIV and tuberculosis. Further, my approach is likely conservative as the number of deaths is rising, whereas this approach just assumes a constant rate based on today’s death toll.

The situation is so serious, that President Trump has activated the National Guard in 3 states (California, New York and Washington) that were hard hit by the virus.

1 Comment

  1. In treating COVID-19 as a cause of death, are we consistent with other categorizations with co-morbidity present? I believe the Italians have said they were classifying any death of someone with COVID-19 as a death from COVID-19.

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