Recently, a new study published in the journal Anaesthesia has examined the death rates of coronavirus infection among hospitalized patients and found that the mortality decreased significantly over the past months. In comparison with the spring of last year, the number of deaths is expected to be much fewer this year.
To reach this conclusion, the researchers analyzed over fifty studies on around forty-three thousand coronavirus patients across the world. The specific focus of the investigation was on people who had been admitted to Intensive Care Units (ICUs) due to severe effects of the coronavirus infection.
It was then discovered that at the start of spring in 2020, the mortality rate was as high as sixty percent. From March to May, it lowered to forty-two percent. By the October of the past year, the rate went further down to thirty-six percent.
During this period, the number of cases did not go down along with the decrease in coronavirus-related deaths. In fact, the daily average of new infections by October had increased dramatically with record-breaking numbers reported in the US.
Overall, the researchers state that even if the infection is still spreading, the lower mortality rate is an indicator of an improved survival rate for a potentially deadly disease. Furthermore, they also explain that these improvements likely occurred due to a better understanding of the infection.
Over the course of the past year, a number of different treatments have been tried and tested on patients. Additionally, healthcare workers are now aware of how to manage patients in accordance with the severity of their disease.
As a result, the mortality rate for the infection is now forty percent in North America, thirty percent in East Asia and the Pacific, and thirty-three percent in Europe. In South Asia, the rate is as lower as sixteen percent, and the Middle East and North Africa have a death rate of sixty-one percent.
While the rates may be lowering along with improvements in healthcare and management, they may go up again in the coming months. According to some experts, the rise of new strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus can potentially cause an even higher number of cases leading to increased hospitalizations and deaths.
Currently, the UK and South African variants have caused much concern around the world. The former has been associated with increased mortality rates while the latter has also appeared to make the newly approved vaccines ineffective.
With such changes, the challenges regarding the control and treatment of the coronavirus may increase once more. A number of epidemiologists have also highlighted this issue, saying that the new variants may lead to a ‘coronavirus hurricane’ in the coming eight to twelve weeks.
Regardless, the efforts to control the virus should not be discontinued as the vaccine distribution programs have also started across the world. With widespread vaccination, the expected new cases of coronavirus infections in the coming weeks may be prevented.
Meanwhile, people should remain more cautious and take extra steps for protection against the new strains of the virus during the time.