Case fatality rates for those with COVID-19 have been declining over the past few months. Experts say that fewer people are dying for three main reasons.
Doctors are armed with more knowledge of treatment options for the severely ill, those who contract the illness are younger, and we have more widespread testing to identify people who have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic.
According to The Hill, one of the major shifts in acute patient care is that fewer of the sickest patients are being intubated as they were in the early days of the pandemic.
In areas like New York and New Jersey, thousands of people were put on ventilators and a large percentage never came off. According to Fox Business, a New York study showed that 88% of 320 ventilated COVID-19 patients died.
Today, doctors are using less invasive measures like proning, putting patients on their stomachs, to increase lung capacity, and prevent suffocation.
Experts point out that the virus largely targeted older people in March and April who were at greater risk of severe complications from the disease because of underlying health conditions. According to The Hill, the number of younger people being infected has risen dramatically.
“Younger people tend to handle the virus better, so that’s why we’re seeing death rates and hospitalization rates go down,” said epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist, the state health officer at the Washington State Department of Health.
Despite lower mortality rates, COVID-19 still is deadlier than other viral diseases, according to Healthline.
“While we are certainly glad the mortality rate has declined and is not as higher as some of the earlier reports, this still represents a dangerous disease with regards to risk of death as well as long-term risks of disability,” said Dr. Jonathan Siner, a pulmonologist at Yale Medicine and a critical care physician.
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