How the World Missed More Than Half of All Covid-19 Deaths

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      The United States alone is estimated to have had 905,000 Covid-19 fatalities, vastly more than the 579,000 deaths officially reported, and more than any other country. The calculation is based on modeling of excess mortality that has occurred during the pandemic.

      The drastic difference highlights how difficult it is to keep track of even basic metrics like deaths when a deadly disease is raging. The higher toll also means the ripples of the pandemic have spread wider than realized, particularly for health workers on the front lines who have repeatedly faced the onslaught with limited medical resources and personal protection. And the undercounts have important consequences for how countries allocate resources, anticipate future hot spots, and address health inequities. Researchers who weren’t involved with the analysis say it confirms what many already presumed: that official death counts were far, far off.

      “Big picture, it’s not really surprising,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist and a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “We’ve long suspected that the tolls of Covid are undercounted for a number of reasons, but probably a big part is having capacity to diagnose infections and count them.”

      Now, with the number of reported cases around the world reaching new highs, the findings should serve as a stark reminder that disease surveillance and tracking remain dangerously inadequate, and that the world may have already overlooked some of the greatest tragedies of the pandemic. Preventing deaths going forward demands a coordinated international effort to contain Covid-19, vaccinate as many people as possible, and monitor the spread of the virus, led by countries with the most resources helping those with the fewest.


      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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