- The novel coronavirus has killed over 100,000 Americans in just the four months since the first confirmed case in the country.
- To put that into perspective, we compared that death toll to the average number of deaths from several common causes between February and May of recent years.
- While heart disease and cancer typically kill around 200,000 Americans in those months, the coronavirus has been far deadlier than several other common causes of death, including car accidents and influenza.
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The US death toll from the novel coronavirus surpassed 100,000 last week, just four months after the first confirmed case in the country.
To put that into perspective, we looked at how many Americans typically died from several common causes of death between February and May — the months of the US coronavirus outbreak — over the last several years. The novel coronavirus has outpaced many of those causes.
The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control maintains a comprehensive database showing the underlying causes of death for Americans. Using that database, we found the average total number of deaths during the four month period between February and May over the most recent five years for which data is available for several common causes of death in the US.
We compared those averages to the current US death toll from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, which stood at 103,815 on the morning of May 31, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard.
Heart disease and cancer, typically the two leading causes of death in the United States, killed on average around 200,000 people between February and May in recent years. Despite that, there have been several weeks over the last four months where COVID-19 surpassed those and was the most common cause of death in the country.
The outbreak has killed more Americans than most other common causes of death in the US typically do over these months. Cerebrovascular diseases, like strokes, typically kill around 47,000 Americans between February and May. Transport accidents, including car crashes, killed on average around 12,000 people during those months. Influenza and pneumonia typically cause around 21,000 deaths, around a fifth of the COVID-19 toll.