NEW YORK — New U.S. government data shows that the country saw somewhere around 600,000 more deaths than usual during a 13-month span. COVID-19 was blamed for most of those deaths.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the new estimate on Thursday. It covers the time period from January 26, 2020 to February 27, 2021. COVID-19 was first detected in the U.S. in late January of last year.
CDC researchers said the biggest spikes in the deaths occurred in early April, late July, and the very end of December.
At least 75% of the deaths were directly tied to COVID, but the estimate includes deaths from all causes.
This week CDC released provisional data through the end of September 2020 that suggested overdose deaths for the year were far exceeding tallies seen in any previous year. The CDC said that more than 87,000 deaths were reported over a 12-month period.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.