Here's Why Coronavirus Deaths Are Going to Spike Again, Experts Say
Although coronavirus deaths are down right now, experts say they expect them to skyrocket again.
Though we've been seeing COVID-19 case numbers spiking throughout the United States, the number of coronavirus deaths has dropped by almost half in the past two weeks. While a declining number of deaths is a great statistic to celebrate, experts say that could all change soon. That's because, while coronavirus previously hit older populations hardest, the current increase in coronavirus cases has been attributed to younger people more than ever. Tom Frieden, MD, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), warned in a recent tweet that "with younger age of recent infections in at least some places such as Florida, expect a lower death rate in this wave…until the 20-40-year-olds who are infected today go on to infect others."
The coronavirus tends to manifest in more mild symptoms in younger people, with the rate of hospitalization for those who test positive for COVID-19 in their 20s under four percent, according to the CDC. And that may be why death rates are low at the moment.
Freiden is not the only expert who's concerned about coronavirus deaths spiking in the future. Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), gave a similarly foreboding warning regarding the potential consequences of the current COVID-19 numbers. "The death rate always lags several weeks behind the infection rate," Fauci told Axios. His concern is that the young people being infected right now, "then they come home, and then they infect the older people. The older people get the complications, and then they go to the hospitals." Which is exactly what can potentially send death rates skyrocketing.
In addition to Florida, as Freiden mentioned, the shift in demographics of COVID-19 cases has been reported in Washington, California, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Colorado, according to NPR. So, especially in those states, Freiden and Fauci's bleak projections make social distancing and wearing a mask in public even more integral than ever. For more expert thoughts on coronavirus-related deaths, check out This Is How Many More Americans the CDC Predicts Will Die by Mid-July.