New York City's COVID-19 death rate comparable to 1918 flu pandemic, study finds 

New York City's spike in deaths amid the COVID-19 pandemic this spring was comparable to the death toll at the peak of the 1918 flu pandemic, a study published in JAMA Network Open found.

Researchers compared data on all-cause mortality in New York City for the two-month period ending May 11 and the peak two months of the 1918 flu pandemic. They used data from the CDC, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the U.S. Census Bureau for the analysis. 

During the peak two months of the 1918 pandemic, 31,589 deaths occurred in New York City among 5.5 million residents. These figures translate into an incident rate of 287.2 deaths per 100,000 person-months — a common metric used to denote deaths over time, according to The New York Times.

This spring, 33,465 all-cause deaths occurred in New York City among 8.3 million residents. This translates to an incident rate of 202.08 deaths per 100,000 person-months — just 29.6 percent lower than during the 1918 pandemic.

"For anyone who doesn't understand the magnitude of what we're living through, this pandemic is comparable in its effect on mortality to what everyone agrees is the previous worst pandemic," study author Jeremy Faust, MD, an emergency physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, told The Washington Post.

To view the full study, click here.

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New York City's COVID-19 death rate comparable to 1918 flu pandemic, study finds 

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