from NOVEL SCIENCE
The Newsletter | Dec 15, 2020
In terms of mortality, the US is averaging 2,430 deaths per day, which corresponds to 1 US death every 36 seconds.
To date, the US has only exceeded this rate for a 3-day period from April 19-21, at the very peak of the initial US surge and just days after New York City reported 3,700 previously unreported probable COVID-19 deaths from the onset of its epidemic.
We expect the US to surpass 300,000 cumulative deaths in this afternoon’s CDC update. From the first US death reported on February 29, it took 46 days to reach 25,000 deaths. From there:
|Cause of Death Rankings||Deaths||Ranking|
|Ischemic heart disease||550000||1|
|Tracheal, bronchus, and lung cancer||206200||3|
|Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease||195800||4|
|Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias||143900||6|
|Chronic kidney disease||107000||7|
|Colon and rectum cancer||84000||8|
|Lower respiratory infection||819000||9|
|Ranking of COVID-19 among the leading causes of mortality in the full year 2020. Deaths from COVID-19 are projections of cumulative deaths on Jan 1, 2021 from the reference scenario. Deaths from|
other causes are from the Global Burden of Disease study 2019 (rounded to the nearest 100).
British scientists emphasized there is currently no evidence the new strain causes more severe illness or has any impact on antibody response or vaccine efficacy.
It would be “pretty surprising” if the virus would have already evolved to evade such a new vaccine, chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said in a press conference, BBC Science Focus reports.
The new strain includes a mutation in the spike protein, which in theory could help the virus become more infectious and spread more easily.
Some Perspective: SARS-CoV-2 has already mutated many times—including around 4,000 mutations in the spike protein gene alone.
The WHO is aware of the new variant, emergencies chief Mike Ryan said, stressing that there is no evidence the strain behaves differently, Reuters reports.