Archive

Archive for September 1st, 2020

What is Lewy body dementia, the disease Robin Williams’ widow called ‘the terrorist’ inside his brain? – USA TODAY

September 1st, 2020

Susan Schneider Williams, the widow of late comic and actor Robin Williams, once called Lewy body dementia “the terrorist inside my husband’s brain.”

While it afflicts more than one million Americans, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, it is regularly overshadowed by Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s, often leading to misdiagnoses in patients with Lewy body dementia.

Media magnate Ted Turner, who announced his diagnosis in 2018, was mistakenly diagnosed with bipolar disorder, while Williams was misdiagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

In the wake of Williams’ death in 2014 and “Robin’s Wish,” the documentary about Williams’ last years, awareness of the disorder has spiked in recent years. But it’s a complicated, often misunderstood neurological disorder, requiring years of work with a neurologist to even get diagnosed. Here are some common questions about LBD, answered.

What is Lewy body dementia, and what causes it?

Lewy body dementia is a type of progressive dementia. According to Norma Loeb, the founder of the Lewy Body Dementia Resource Center, it is the second most common form of progressive dementia behind Alzheimer’s.

Excess deposits of the protein alpha-synuclein, known as Lewy bodies, clump up inside neurons, causing damage to certain parts of the brain and, as a result, a decline in cognition and movement.

Remembering Robin Williams:The 5 best movies to remember him by

There are two forms of Lewy body dementia: Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson’s disease dementia. The early warning signs of both are key: DLB takes place when people develop cognitive issues, including memory less, while patients with Parkinson’s disease dementia initially develop movement issues such as muscle stiffness, gait and tremors.

Over time, their symptoms will become more and more similar. Other symptoms of LBD include depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, insomnia, and hallucinations. Patients often develop hallucinations of people or small animals, Loeb said.

Individuals with LBD may live anywhere between two to 20 years from diagnosis to death, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Why is it difficult to diagnose Lewy body dementia?

Lewy body dementia’s similarities to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s pose a challenge for doctors. 

Because early symptoms of DLB are similar to Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease dementia akin to Parkinson’s, individuals often get diagnosed with the more common disorder as opposed to LBD. (In fact, individuals with Parkinson’s disease sometimes develop dementia — though not always.)

“It can take quite some time to get the correct diagnosis and it is not unusual, unfortunately, for it to take 1 to 3 years,” Loeb said.

Loeb points out that it is key for family members of patients to keep track of all symptoms, as even unexpected symptoms are often linked to LBD. In the case of Robin Williams, Schneider Williams pointed out that “a sudden ad prolonged spike in fear and anxiety can be an early indication of LBD.”

What are the differences between Lewy body dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzhemier’s?

Despite shared symptoms, Lewy body dementia has key symptoms that differentiate itself from other similar disorders.

“People with LBD, unlike early Parkinson’s, will exhibit cognitive impairment, behavior issues and have fluctuations in alertness,” Lobe said, symptoms that are not as common in early Parkinson’s patients.

Meanwhile, LBD patients will more frequently face issues with “planning, judgment and visual perception,” as opposed to Alzheimer’s patients, who experience memory loss. They may also face issues with their autonomic nervous system, which influences blood pressure and incontinence.

Is there any treatment for Lewy body dementia?

Like other degenerative diseases, Lewy body dementia has no known cure. 

And while some medications typically used for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s may help with symptoms relating to cognition or movement, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, there are many risks attached.

The reason for this, Loeb explained, is that individuals with LBD are extremely sensitive to medications.

“Given the wrong drugs — particularly older antipsychotics — can add to or create hallucinations and can contribute to a much worsened, dangerous condition,” Loeb said.

Still, Loeb notes that cholinesterase inhibitors, which are often used for people with Alzheimer’s, can help improve cognition and alertness in patients with Lewy body dementia. It is worth speaking with a neurologist to determine which prescriptions can work best to mitigate symptoms of LBD.

Contributing: Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY.

Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote.

Uncategorized

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 hands on: Second time’s the charm – Android Authority

September 1st, 2020

Trump administration sending rapid COVID tests to states, CDC bars evictions – Reuters

September 1st, 2020

(Reuters) – The Trump administration will send most of its newly purchased 150 million rapid COVID-19 tests to U.S. states for schools and critical services, a White House official said on Tuesday, as New York City pushed back reopening classrooms in a deal with union leaders.

FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker uses a swab to test a man at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) drive-in testing location in Houston, Texas, U.S., August 18, 2020. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

The moves came as The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday issued a sweeping order temporarily halting landlords across the nation from evicting millions of tenants in what it said was an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The order covers all 43 million U.S. residential renters as long as they meet income eligibility requirements, although an administration official said the government does not expect an “overwhelming” use of the program.

The daily number of infections has been in decline across most of the United States in recent weeks, with 36,263 reported on Monday, less than half of the mid-July peak, according to a Reuters tally.

Exceptions include Midwest states such as South Dakota, where hundreds of thousands of motorcycle riders gathered for a rally in August, and Iowa.

A total of more than 183,000 people have died so far from complications of COVID-19, including 32,647 in New York and nearly 16,000 in New Jersey, the U.S. states with the highest death tolls.

In announcing that the “overwhelming majority” of 150 rapid antigen tests purchased from Abbot Laboratories (ABT.N) would be sent to state governors, U.S. Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Admiral Brett Giror said top priorities included day care centers and first responders.

The portable tests can deliver results within 15 minutes and will sell for $5. They require no additional equipment, and can use a less invasive nasal swab than traditional lab tests.

President Donald Trump has pushed for schools across the country to reopen classrooms, but many districts have ordered students to stay home and learn online.

Among them are Los Angeles and San Diego Counties, the second and third-largest school districts in the nation respectively.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said an agreement had been reached with reluctant teachers union leaders to reopen school buildings to students on September 21 as part of his plan for a mix of in-class and remote learning.

“What we’ve agreed to is to make sure that the health measures are in place, to make sure there is time for the appropriate preparation for our educators,” de Blasio said at a news briefing.

Earlier this week New Jersey and California eased some restrictions imposed in the face of the pandemic, allowing restaurants to begin limited indoor dining.

New York City’s mayor has ruled out allowing restaurants to serve diners indoors anytime soon.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb, Vishwadha Chander, Carl O’Donnell, Peter Szekely, Maria Caspani and David Shepardson; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Michael Perry

Uncategorized

Large study shows COVID-19 antibodies last 4 months, bolstering vaccine hopes – New York Post

September 1st, 2020

Coronavirus antibodies could last for at least four months and fade more slowly than previously reported, according to a new study.

The findings come from a large-scale survey published Tuesday involving more than 30,500 people in Iceland. Billed as the most comprehensive look at the body’s response to the virus, scientists believe it gives hope to achieve immunity through a vaccine.

If a vaccine generates antibodies that are as long-lasting, there is “hope that host immunity to this unpredictable and highly contagious virus may not be fleeting and may be similar to that elicited by most other viral infections,” wrote scientists in an editorial on the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers are still trying to decipher built immunity to the virus. Previous smaller studies had suggested antibodies potentially protecting from re-infection faded over weeks, lasting no more than three months.

But researchers involved in the Iceland report, conducted by the Reykjavik-based deCODE Genetics, said previous studies typically observed subjects 28 days after diagnosis, while they looked at patients for four months.

They found the body produces a second collection of antibodies a month or two after infection that could provide more long-lasting protection.

“Infections and vaccines generate two waves of antibodies: The first wave is generated by early short-lived plasma cells, poised to populate the systemic circulation, but this wave subsides rapidly after resolution of acute infection,” wrote scientists Galit Alter and Robert Seder in the commentary.

“The second wave is generated by a smaller number of longer-lived plasma cells that provide long-lived immunity,” they went on.

The scientists behind the study stressed that more research was still needed and that not everyone had the same response to the virus. And it’s still unclear if antibody production will prevent reinfections.

Several reports have surfaced recently of patients who were re-infected after just several months from their first diagnosis.

The researchers also found that almost a third of Iceland infections were in people who reported no symptoms and that the infection fatality rate was 0.3 percent, or about three times as deadly as the seasonal flu.

With Post wires.

Uncategorized

Why the Coronavirus More Often Strikes Children of Color – MSN Money

September 1st, 2020


a group of people standing next to a person: Students welcomed back to class at a school in Metairie, La., in August.
© Max Becherer/The Advocate, via Associated Press Students welcomed back to class at a school in Metairie, La., in August.

One of the notable features of the new coronavirus, evident early in the pandemic, was that it largely spared children. Some become severely ill, but deaths have been few, compared to adults.

But people of color have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, and recent studies have renewed concern about the susceptibility of children in these communities.

Sign Up For the Morning Briefing Newsletter

They are infected at higher rates than white children, and hospitalized at rates five to eight times that of white children. Children of color make up the overwhelming majority of those who develop a life-threatening complication called multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C.

Of more than 180,000 Americans who have died of Covid-19, fewer than 100 are children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But children of color comprise the majority of those who have died of Covid-19.

The deaths include 41 Hispanic children, 24 Black children, 19 white children, three Asian-American children, three American Indian/Alaska Native children, and two multiracial children.

The unique vulnerabilities of these youngsters are coming to light even as the number of infections in children is rising and schools and parents around the country are grappling with nettlesome decisions about reopening safely.

The susceptibility of minority children to the disease is not unique to the United States. Black children hospitalized in the United Kingdom were more likely than whites to be transferred to critical care and to develop MIS-C, according to a study published last week in the journal BMJ.

“Children don’t exist in a vacuum,” said Dr. Monika K. Goyal, a pediatric emergency medicine specialist at Children’s National Hospital in Washington.

Among 1,000 children tested for Covid-19 at a site in Washington in March and April, nearly half of the Hispanic children and nearly one-third of the Black children were positive for the coronavirus, Dr. Goyal found in a recent study.

“They live in homes where their parent or caregiver doesn’t have the luxury of telecommuting, so they are at increased risk of exposure,” she added. “They are also more likely to live in multigenerational households. It’s all connected.”


a little boy standing in front of a playground: A closed playground in Commerce, Calif., in July.
© Jae C. Hong/Associated Press A closed playground in Commerce, Calif., in July.

Poverty also is linked to a higher risk of infection, and Dr. Goyal’s research, published on Tuesday in the journal Pediatrics, found that children from low-income families were much more likely to become infected than those with the most affluent parents.

The higher infection rates appear to be driven by greater exposure to the virus, Dr. Goyal said: “There’s nothing to indicate that there’s some sort of genetic predisposition to Covid based on race or ethnicity.”

Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a professor of pediatrics at Stanford, agreed: “I know exactly what’s happening to those kids. Their parents are frontline, blue-collar or essential workers.”

Dr. Maldonado said she had frequently treated adult patients with the coronavirus who said their partners or children were sick, as well.

Researchers at Harvard have documented higher infection rates in Massachusetts communities with high proportions of immigrants, high numbers of food service workers and high numbers of people living in large, shared households.

Immigrants may hesitate to seek medical care, and employees who work in the food service industry often lack adequate paid sick leave, said Jose Figueroa, assistant professor of health policy and management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“What you have is the perfect recipe for fast transmission of Covid-19 in the Latino community,” he said. “Working adults who keep going to work because they need to put food on the table and pay the rent, and who often have young children.”

While restaurant patrons worry about the distances between tables and wonder whether to dine outdoors, “someone is preparing the food in the back, and they don’t have the luxury of being outdoors,” Dr. Figueroa said. “They’re in small kitchens cooking the food, and even if they’re wearing masks, they’re often in small, confined spaces.”

The true number of children who have been infected with the coronavirus may not be known, as young children tend to have milder courses of the disease and have never been routinely tested in the United States.

A mother in the Bronx, who asked to be identified only as Darlene to protect her child’s privacy, said her son was sick for months during the spring peak of the coronavirus outbreak in New York City. But health providers in the Bronx deflected her repeated requests to have the 3-year-old tested in March and through much of April, because he did not have a fever and was not having difficulty breathing, she said.

When she managed to get him tested in April, the result was negative. But her son was lethargic, complained of a stomach ache, had persistent diarrhea and often woke up wailing in the middle of the night.

Ordinarily an active and playful toddler, he had difficulty walking and fell a number of times, Darlene said: “I knew something was wrong — this was not my baby.”

Finally, in June, as his symptoms were resolving, Darlene was able to take him to his regular doctor at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, who tested him for antibodies to the virus. The result was positive, indicating he had indeed been infected. (Other family members tested negative for antibodies).

Dr. Goyal’s study reported that Hispanic children were six times more likely to test positive for the coronavirus than white children who came to the testing site in Washington. Black children were twice as likely to test positive as white children.

Two other reports by the C.D.C. last month underscored the heightened risk of poor outcomes for children of color.

Hispanic children were at greatest risk of severe disease: they were hospitalized at a rate nearly eight times that of white children, according to the C.D.C. Black children were hospitalized at a rate five times that of white children.

The C.D.C. study, which looked at 576 children under the age of 18 who had been hospitalized in 14 states between March 1 and July 25, found that nearly half had at least one underlying health condition. The most common was obesity, followed by chronic lung disease and premature birth.

Among the hospitalized children whose race and ethnicity were known, nearly half were Hispanic, and 29 percent were Black. Hispanic and Black children also had higher rates of underlying health conditions: 45 percent and 29 percent, respectively. Among white children, 15 percent had underlying health problems.

Another C.D.C. paper looked at 570 children with MIS-C in 40 states, the District of Columbia and New York City, between March 2 and July 18. Of those whose race was known, only 13 percent were white; 40 percent were Hispanic, and 33 percent were Black.

Just under 3 percent were Asian, and about 10 percent were listed as “other” or multiracial. Fewer than 1 percent of the children were American Indian/Alaskan Native or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.

[Like the Science Times page on Facebook. | Sign up for the Science Times newsletter.]

Two-thirds of the children had no pre-existing medical conditions before the onset of MIS-C, though the proportion of those who were obese was slightly higher than in the general population. The most common symptoms were abdominal pain, vomiting, a skin rash and diarrhea.

While children over all have been less severely affected by the disease, there was a 21 percent increase in confirmed infections among children between the second and third weeks of August, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The academy estimates children represent 9.5 percent of all cases in states that have reported positive tests by age, with 476,439 confirmed infections in children, among the six million Covid-19 cases in the United States. (The definition of child varies from state to state, but is usually 18 and under, or under 18.)

Since the vast majority of children infected with the virus have a mild or asymptomatic illness, many cases may have been missed earlier this year, when testing was scarce and limited to the very ill, said Dr. Alefiyah Malbari, an assistant professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

When parents called their pediatricians and said their children had symptoms, “Our line was, ‘This could be Covid — quarantine yourself as if you had Covid,’” Dr. Malbari said. “Even the playgrounds were closed, so it was easy to do.”

Now, with schools opening and testing more widely available, “we have to take these symptoms really, really seriously.”

Uncategorized

Nvidia’s Newest RTX Demo – IGN

September 1st, 2020

Animal Crossing: Biden campaign offers virtual yard signs in Nintendo game – The Guardian

September 1st, 2020

Trudeau’s plan to revive Canada — and his political future – POLITICO

September 1st, 2020

These are among the issues Trudeau wants to tackle in his long-term recovery plan. In August, he abruptly shut down Canada’s Parliament for five weeks, promising to reset the government’s agenda in a speech from the throne on Sept. 23. Those remarks will trigger a confidence vote his minority government must win to survive. After several months dominated by scandal, it’s a chance to turn the page.

But the “bold new solutions” Trudeau is envisioning won’t come cheap.

The senior official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the federal deficit — pegged at a record C$343 billion this year — will likely rise again before it comes down. The current crisis “demands an activist government,” the official said, claiming big spending can be justified for the time being due to historically low interest rates.

However, Trudeau’s response to the pandemic, largely well-received by Canadians during the early months, came under fire this summer thanks to a C$900 million student grant program that was outsourced to an organization with ties to Trudeau’s family and to his then-finance minister, Bill Morneau. Morneau resigned last month amid rumors of a falling-out between him and Trudeau over the pandemic response, and was replaced by Freeland, who had previously stickhandled the Canada-U.S. relationship through the USMCA negotiations.

The scandal, involving the Toronto-based WE Charity, was the latest of several ethical controversies involving the prime minister.

“I think those that were already prone to thinking that Justin Trudeau had ethical challenges, this will cement that observation,” said Kate Harrison, a consultant and former Conservative staffer.

The controversy has also left room for the opposition to cast doubt on whether the Liberals are best positioned to manage the economic recovery.

“[Trudeau] has used the crisis as an excuse to help his friends, yet again,” said Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole during a news conference last week, shortly after he was elected leader on Aug. 24. “It’s time to stop catering to insiders and special interests. It’s time to put working Canadians first.” The Conservatives have also accused Trudeau of proroguing Parliament to shut down committee investigations of the scandal.

Still, it’s not clear the WE controversy will seriously damage the Liberals’ electoral prospects. In fact, recent polling suggests Trudeau would fare well in a fall election, and that the Conservatives have not seen a bump in support since O’Toole’s victory.

For the time being, the Liberals also benefit from the fact that O’Toole is relatively unknown and will need time to sell Canadians on his vision for the pandemic recovery. A former military officer who served as veterans affairs minister in the Conservative government of Stephen Harper, O’Toole won the leadership after campaigning to the right of his chief rival, former cabinet minister Peter MacKay. He now has to unite his own party and find a way to broaden its appeal.

O’Toole has acknowledged he’s not well-known in Canada, but is trying to use that to set himself apart from Trudeau. “I have no famous name,” he likes to say. “I just fight for Canadians.”

On the Covid-19 response, the Conservatives will walk a fine line between advocating fiscal responsibility and recognizing that many Canadians want to see changes to the social safety net and aren’t overly concerned about big deficits.

Harrison said the challenge for the party is not to oppose all new spending and “come across as angry Scrooges,” but to provide “targeted support to the most vulnerable as opposed to providing nationalized plans.”

“[O’Toole] knows it’s not enough to just criticize what the Liberals are doing,” she said. “What is the alternative vision you’re going to put in the window?”

The Conservative leader has made clear he’s not looking for an election this fall, but has suggested the Liberals may try to send Canadians to the polls. “If Mr. Trudeau thinks he can play some games with a new leader and force an election, we will be ready,” O’Toole said last week.

To date, only one party — the sovereigntist Bloc Québécois — has spoken openly about trying to force an election. Harrison said the prospect of winning a majority government before O’Toole has had a chance to build his brand might appeal to the Liberals, but the possibility of a second wave of Covid-19 would likely turn voters off the idea of heading to the polls anytime soon. The U.S. election in November is another deterrent, she said. “I think it’s still pretty low likelihood.”

Trudeau says the Liberals don’t want an election but are looking instead for parliamentarians to approve their new mandate. “When we return … we will be putting the vision of this government for a better, greener, stronger Canada to a vote in the House of Commons,” he said Monday. “That is democracy in action.”

To win that vote, they will need the support of only one opposition party, and currently, the left-of-center New Democratic Party (NDP) seems most likely to give it.

“We’re not looking for an election,” NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said in an interview. “We’re looking to keep on fighting for people.”

Singh is calling for the federal government to spend more on schools, child care and fighting climate change — issues that dovetail with Trudeau’s own talking points. The NDP has largely supported the Liberals through the pandemic, though Singh said his party has forced the government to expand financial aid to more people, including students, seniors and people with disabilities.

Singh, like Trudeau, believes this is a moment for big change. “There’s decisions we can make now to help us recover that will actually help transform the next couple decades,” he said.

Still, winning parliamentary approval is only one part of the challenge ahead. The Liberals seem ready to bet that Canadians will welcome more spending if it will fill some of the holes laid bare by the pandemic. But the response of some business groups to the idea of big outlays on social and environmental initiatives is decidedly more cautious, particularly given the national debt is projected to top C$1.2 trillion by March.

“The economic recovery is going to be business-led,” said Trevin Stratton, chief economist with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “Now that we’re starting to reopen, we need to have a plan to transition away from some of the emergency subsidies and focus on growth.”

Stratton said the government needs to “look closely at what is the return on investment” of any stimulus spending, and said Ottawa should cut regulatory gridlock to help the economy bounce back.

Trudeau must also decide how much weight to put on a climate-focused recovery, when issues like employment insurance and child care have suddenly gained new urgency.

Despite having made noises about a green recovery for months, the Liberals have yet to announce anything concrete. A number of advocacy groups have been calling for big spending on building retrofits, zero-emission vehicles and long-term investments in areas like hydrogen production. But it may be tricky to demonstrate how these initiatives benefit those hardest hit by the pandemic, including women and people with low incomes or precarious work.

Sarah Petrevan, policy director with Clean Energy Canada, claimed a clean recovery package will address equity issues as well — home retrofits lead to cost savings, she pointed out. “Certainly, this government has made it clear that any economic recovery package is going to be clean,” she said.

Last December, after the Liberals were reelected with a minority government, Canada’s governor general delivered a speech from the throne that focused in part on the Liberals’ ambitious new target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Days later, the first Covid-19 cases would be reported in Wuhan, China.

“The throne speech we gave eight months ago had no mention of Covid-19, had no mention of rebuilding an economy devastated … by a terrible global pandemic,” Trudeau said Monday, by way of explanation for the parliamentary reset.

The prime minister clearly still wants to be responsible for historic change, though the goalposts have shifted. “This is our moment to change the future for the better,” he said last month. “We can’t afford to miss it because this window of opportunity won’t be open for long.”

Android, Apache, bioinformatics, bitcoin mining, computers, Employment, ethereum mining, Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, skype, smartphone, software, tablet, TV, Video, visualizations

Peter Facinelli Reveals 30 Lb Weight Loss, Poses Shirtless For Prostate Cancer – TooFab

September 1st, 2020

Uncategorized

What the CDC death report really says, according to Fauci – ABC News

September 1st, 2020
ABC News Corona Virus Health and Science

Experts unequivocally say that at least 180,000 people have died from COVID-19.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report is being twisted by conspiracy theorists to imply the COVID-19 death toll is not as serious as it sounds, health experts say. In response, Dr. Anthony Fauci and other medical authorities say unequivocally that at least 180,000 Americans have died because of this virus.

And if anything, the figure is likely an undercount, say health experts.

“Let there not be any confusion,” Fauci said after President Donald Trump retweeted an article that inaccurately suggested the real number of COVID-19 deaths is 9,000. “It’s not 9,000 deaths from COVID-19. It’s 180,000-plus deaths,” Fauci told Good Morning America. “The point that the CDC was trying to make was that a certain percentage of [deaths] had nothing else but COVID,” Fauci said.

“That does not mean that someone who has hypertension, or diabetes who dies of COVID didn’t die of COVID-19. They did.”

The report, which was published Aug. 26 and is part of the CDC’s standard weekly data update to the public, looks at death certificates and noted that COVID-19 was the only cause of death listed in 6% of deaths involving the coronavirus.

But some have misinterpreted this figure in two ways, by suggesting that only 6% of COVID-19 deaths are from COVID-19, and that only people with preexisting conditions are at risk of serious illness. Neither of these interpretations is correct, say experts.

A spokesperson for the mortality branch of the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the CDC, told ABC News that death certificates typically list any causes or conditions that contributed to mortality.

“These causes are entered into the death certificate by a physician, medical examiner, or coroner,” the NCHS spokesperson said. “Death certificates may have one or more causes or conditions listed, as determined based on the medical expertise of that professional.”

The NCHS defines “underlying cause of death” as “the condition that began the chain of events that ultimately led to the person’s death.”

According to the NCHS, in 92% of all deaths that mention COVID-19, COVID-19 is listed as the underlying cause of death. There were 161,392 such death certificates as of Aug. 22, the NCHS found. On 94% of death certificates that mention COVID-19, an additional condition is also listed, such as diabetes, hypertension, pneumonia or respiratory failure.

While death certificates can help scientists understand trends, they are not perfect. States and municipalities have different reporting requirements, some more rigorous than others.

The CDC and World Health Organization have long stated that people with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertensive disease and respiratory disease, are at higher risk for severe cases of COVID-19 and death.

But health experts warn that the suggestion that only people with preexisting conditions will be severely sickened or killed by COVID-19 ignores the fact that 45% of Americans have underlying conditions that put them at risk of developing serious illness if they are infected with coronavirus.

Many patients who landed in the hospital with COVID-19 did not know that they had an underlying condition prior to being hospitalized, medical experts say. Then there are the patients whose contributing causes of death, such as cardiac arrest, were likely triggered by a COVID-19 infection.

Johns Hopkins University, which keeps its own up-to-date COVID statistics, has reported more than 6 million COVID infections and 183,000 deaths in the United States.

What to know about the coronavirus:

  • How it started and how to protect yourself: Coronavirus explained
  • What to do if you have symptoms: Coronavirus symptoms
  • Tracking the spread in the U.S. and worldwide: Coronavirus map
  • Tune in to ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis.

    Uncategorized