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Coronavirus Mortality Rate Is Looking Worse Than Influenza

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The mortality rate for coronavirus now sits at 1.5% nationwide and 1% in L.A. County, higher than what we experience with annual flu cases.

That sobering update came from Dr. Barbara Ferrer, who spoke at the county's daily coronavirus task force briefing (you can watch a replay above).

Three more people in L.A. County have died from complications arising from COVID-19, all of them older than 65 and with underlying health conditions, Ferrer said. That brings total deaths in the county due to coronavirus to 13. One case of a person younger than 18 reported yesterday has been removed from the total count pending an investigation from the CDC, she said.

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"The family and the friends who are mourning these losses, you're very much in our thoughts and prayers, and we are so very sorry for your loss," Ferrer said.

Here are some L.A. County case numbers she shared:

  • 138 new confirmed cases (266 in the last 48 hours, a slight uptick from yesterday)
  • Total new cases include 28 in Long Beach and 7 in Pasadena
  • Total countywide is at least 799
  • 80% are people aged 18-65
  • 40% are younger people aged 18-40


So far 160 people who tested positive for coronavirus have ended up hospitalized. That's 20% of all positive cases, Ferrer said. Put another way, one in every five people who test positive also end up hospitalized.

Right now 44 people are still hospitalized, and the majority — 77% — are in intensive care units. Here's Ferrer again:

"I'm noting these numbers to just make sure everyone understands that the people who are hospitalized are often very sick, and they need to use intensive services in our hospitals."

Not everyone sick enough to be hospitalized is older. Ferrer said four patients are in their 30s.

Ferrer also said 60% of the patients in the ICU are older than 60. That means 40% of the most severe cases currently in the county — nearly half — are people younger than 60.

To be fair, these numbers represent what the county is seeing in this moment in time. Ferrer is not necessarily saying the hospital numbers represent a longer trend. But they are alarming enough to make anyone think twice about the seriousness of COVID-19.


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