Since the beginning of the coronavirus health crisis, health experts have compared it to the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1919. Even though there are a number of fundamental differences between the two epidemics, researchers have recently noted that the coronavirus death rate in New York was significantly similar to that of the H1N1 flu virus from March to May.
During this time, New York had the highest number of active infections as well as death toll than any other state in the US. Though it is said that coronavirus pandemic may never reach the number of fatalities as those in the Spanish flu crisis, their patterns were shocking similar in the state.
Researchers from the Harvard Medical School have highlighted this pattern in their new research which appears in the journal JAMA Network Open. According to the findings of the research, the death toll in New York from March to May was the same as in the months of October and November in 1918 during the Spanish flu pandemic.
More specifically, there were 287.17 deaths per 100,000 person-months due to the H1N1 virus in New York in 1918. When the state was hit with coronavirus infection, the rate was 202.08 deaths per 100,000 person-months. Hence, there is very little difference in the recorded statistics.
Therefore, in the new paper, the researchers specifically stated that “If insufficiently treated, SARS-CoV-2 infection may have comparable or greater mortality than 1918 H1N1 influenza virus infection,”.
Although coronavirus infection in New York has been contained to an extent and the outbreak is not as bad as it was during the early days of the pandemic, experts have noted that the numbers are rising once again for the past two months in the state.
In addition, other states in the country are also reporting record-breaking numbers of new infections and deaths. Regardless of the warnings from the medical community, many people, most of whom are from younger age groups are not taking the threat of the virus seriously.
Recent reports on the coronavirus number of deaths in the country show that the toll is increasing faster than the coronavirus death rate in New York from spring.
Till the end of May, the total number of deaths in the US had reached around fifty thousand. According to reports, it took around fifty-seven days for the toll to reach that number. However, another fifty thousand were recorded in merely thirty-seven days out of which twenty thousand have been diagnosed in twenty days.
On average, there are one thousand fatalities due to the infection on a daily basis now, which shows that the rate can, in fact, go as high as that of the H1N1 flu virus if certain steps are not taken on time.
Some people may argue that the similarities between the coronavirus death rate in New York during both of the aforementioned pandemics do not mean that the fatalities will be the same in all other states.
Though the fatalities may not reach as high as they were during the Spanish flu pandemic, they can definitely worsen as the numbers of new infections and deaths are only going up not only in the US but affected countries around the world.