Coronavirus — How the U.S. Compares
Italy has become the standard for COVID-19 impact. The United States reached 100 confirmed cases 8 days after Italy. So, the question becomes whether Italy provides a preview for what the U.S. will look like a week later?
A simple look at the numbers as of March 22, 2020, showed Italy with 59,138 cases, the U.S. with 33,546, and New York accounting for 15,790 of the U.S. total. The coronavirus is spreading with very identifiable patterns; therefore, it is important to look at time and patterns in the numbers to understand the upcoming impact.
The Bad News: Number of Cases
March 22, 2020, marked the 21st day since the U.S. identified its 100th case of COVID-19. The U.S. had 33,546 identified cases as of the 21st day. This number outpaced Italy on their day 21 by 59 percent.
The pattern and numbers for New York state are more alarming. New York is on day 17 and is 71 percent ahead of the U.S. pace. The Empire State accounts for approximately 39 percent of all cases in the U.S. as of March 22.
The patterns indicate the U.S. is on a pace to replace Italy in the number of active COVID-19 cases and could possibly do so before the end of March.
The Good News: Lower Mortality Rates
It is difficult to say there is any good news related to coronavirus. However, the U.S. is displaying a significantly lower mortality rate than Italy. Very early results for the U.S. were not as favorable because the virus initially struck an older population in Washington. Excluding results for the state of Washington, the mortality rate in Italy is 9x the mortality rate in the U.S. Is it because the Italian healthcare system is overwhelmed? Is it because the disease is striking older people in Italy? Is it because the primary coronavirus strain in the U.S. is not as lethal? A little more time and a lot more data will help the medical community answer these, and many more, questions.
What Do We Do with the Insight?
Overwhelming our medical system and hospitals threatens the quality of the outcomes. The wave of new cases in the U.S. is daunting and will strain our healthcare system if the pattern does not change. We must follow the guidance of our public health experts and government now to slow the spread so that our healthcare professionals have a chance to respond to the needs of the patients.
*All data Worldometer, COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic, Accessed March 23, 2020