Archive for the ‘deaths’ Category

US has topped 200,000 COVID-19 deaths—and many more to come

September 22nd, 2020
A medical technician in protective gear handles a wrapped corpse on a gurney.

Enlarge / Transporter Morgan Dean-McMillan prepares the body of a COVID-19 victim at a morgue in Montgomery county, Maryland, on April 17, 2020. (credit: Getty | ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS)

The US death toll from COVID-19 topped 200,000 Tuesday as daily reports of new cases still hover around 40,000 and daily deaths are in the 700s.

The grim milestone of 200,000 deaths is equivalent to the death toll from the 9/11 attacks occurring every day for 66 days. It’s also equivalent to losing about the entire population Salt Lake City, Utah, or nearly the population of Rochester, New York. COVID-19 has killed more in the United States than the number of Americans who died in the five most recent wars combined (the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Iraq War, the War in Afghanistan, and the Persian Gulf War).

By mid-afternoon Tuesday, the COVID-19 death toll had already reached 200,541 deaths, stemming from more than 6.88 million cases. While these figures are based on data from state health authorities, the actual death toll is expected to be much higher.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in COVID-19, deaths, Infectious disease, pandemic, public health, SARS-CoV-2, science, Trump, us | Comments (0)

Brazil hits 80,000 deaths as more leaders test positive for COVID-19

July 21st, 2020
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gives the thumbs up to supporters from the Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, on July 20, 2020, amid the new coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by EVARISTO SA / AFP) (Photo by EVARISTO SA/AFP via Getty Images)

Enlarge / Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gives the thumbs up to supporters from the Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, on July 20, 2020, amid the new coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by EVARISTO SA / AFP) (Photo by EVARISTO SA/AFP via Getty Images) (credit: Getty | EVARISTO SA)

Two more high-ranking government officials in Brazil have tested positive for COVID-19 as the country’s epidemic exceeded the grim milestone of 80,000 deaths—a toll second only to deaths in the US.

Earlier this month, Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro announced he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Bolsonaro has consistently downplayed the threat of COVID-19, referring to it as a “little flu” and urging local leaders to lift restrictions aimed at reducing spread of the disease. Prior to testing positive, Bolsonaro had been seen in public appearances amid crowds of people, sometimes shaking hands and not wearing a mask.

Now, Citizenship Minister Onyx Lorenzoni, a close ally of Bolsonaro, and Education Minister Milton Ribeiro each announced on social media that they have also tested positive. Brazil’s national security adviser, Augusto Heleno, and the minister of mines and energy, Bento Albuquerque, had previously reported testing positive, according to NPR.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in Brazil, COVID-19, deaths, Infectious disease, pandemic, public health, SARS-CoV-2, science | Comments (0)

With morgues brimming, Texas and Arizona turn to refrigerator trucks

July 16th, 2020
Parked trailers are lined up in a parking lot.

Enlarge / NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 25: The Statue of Liberty is seen behind refrigeration trucks that function as temporary morgues at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal during the coronavirus pandemic. (credit: Getty | Noam Galai)

Officials in Texas and Arizona have requested refrigerated trucks to hold the dead as hospitals and morgues become overwhelmed by victims of the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the hospital, there are only so many places to put bodies,” Ken Davis, chief medical officer of Christus Santa Rosa Health System in the San Antonio area, said in a briefing this week. “We're out of space, and our funeral homes are out of space, and we need those beds. So, when someone dies, we need to quickly turn that bed over.

“It’s a hard thing to talk about,” Davis added. “People's loved ones are dying."

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in COVID-19, deaths, hospital, morgue, pandemic, refrigerator trucks, SARS-CoV-2, science | Comments (0)

DEA tracked every opioid pill sold in the US. The data is out—and it’s horrific

July 17th, 2019
Members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters hold signs while protesting during the McKesson Corp. annual meeting at the Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce in Irving, Texas, US, on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.

Enlarge / Members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters hold signs while protesting during the McKesson Corp. annual meeting at the Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce in Irving, Texas, US, on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

Between 2006 and 2012, opioid drug makers and distributors flooded the country with 76 billion pills of oxycodone and hydrocodone—highly addictive opioid pain medications that sparked the epidemic of abuse and overdoses that killed nearly 100,000 people in that time period.

As the epidemic surged over the seven-year period, so did the supply. The companies increased distribution from 8.4 billion in 2006 to 12.6 billion in 2012, a jump of roughly 50%. In all, the deluge of pills was enough to supply every adult and child in the country with around 36 opioid pills per year. Just a 10-day supply can hook 1 in 5 people into being long-term users, researchers have determined.

The stunning supply figures were first reported by the Washington Post and come from part of a database compiled by the Drug Enforcement Administration that tracked the fate of every opioid pill sold in America, from manufacturers to individual pharmacies. A federal court in Ohio released the data this week as part of a massive consolidated court case against nearly two-dozen opioid makers and distributors, brought by nearly 2,000 cities, towns, and counties. The local governments allege that the opioid companies conspired to saturate the country with the potent painkillers to soak up billions in profits. The companies deny the allegations, arguing generally that they were serving the needs of patients.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in addiction, CDC, DEA, deaths, drug abuse, opioid, overdose, Pharmaceutical industry, prescription, science | Comments (0)