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Anchor lead: What do excess death data tell us about COVID-19 deaths? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Epidemiologists have looked at death data for the United States for the last four months and calculated what is known as the excess death rate. That’s the number of deaths that have taken place over and above what would have been expected based on historical data. Patricia Davidson, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, says many of these deaths are due to COVID-19 but also other conditions.

Davidson: People are avoiding going to the hospital. Forty percent of people in the US have used some form of homeopathic treatment to avoid going to the emergency room. Many people in our population live with chronic conditions, so the fact that people are not attending primary care providers means that we don’t have as close a vigilance of risk factors such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease.   :25

Davidson says avoiding becoming a statistic means seeking medical care when needed as well as adopting public health practices. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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