What you need to know about ‘excess deaths’ from COVID-19

Dr. Jen Ashton shares the CDC’S data on deaths that were previously misclassified, missed or undiagnosed.
2:12 | 10/21/20

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Transcript for What you need to know about ‘excess deaths’ from COVID-19
here as always as we track all of today's major developments. Coronavirus cases trending upward in at least 40 states and Puerto Rico. The latest numbers from Johns Hopkins university at least 40.8 million cases diagnosed worldwide, 8.2 here in the U.S. Now at least 221,000 American lives lost. Doc, the CDC has a report out yesterday saying the pandemic has caused another possibly 300,000 deaths. That's not talking about direct covid deaths. This is something else. They're saying instead of 221,000 it's shy of 300,000. It bears repeating these are not just stats or numbers. Everyone of them is a life cut short. Here's what the CDC study says. They were measuring the indirect and direct deaths associated with the pandemic. The study was really looking at something they called excess deaths, which is defined as something statistically greater than we would normally see at this time. They looked at a nine-month period. They're saying this is much more accurate than a case count or case fatality rate. The biggest increase in excess deaths was seen in adults ages 25-44 years of age. A 26% increase rate and hispanics 54% increase rate above what you would normally see, even though older people still had the greatest number of deaths, raw numbers. Death counts again the CDC is emphasizing really only give us a partial view how great the pandemic has been. Can you give us examples of deaths that are excess deaths? What's interesting about the way they track these numbers, Amy, they looked at cases that were misdiagnosed, missed completely and deaths that were indirectly associated with the pandemic. Someone having a heart attack who was afraid to seek medical treatment died of that heart attack. That's an indirect cause of the pandemic. Looking way beyond the number of how great the toll has been. A much bigger picture. Jen, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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