Excess Deaths in New York City During the COVID-19 and 1918 Influenza Pandemics | Infectious Diseases | JN Learning | AMA Ed Hub [Skip to Content]
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Comparison of Estimated Excess Deaths in New York City During the COVID-19 and 1918 Influenza Pandemics

Educational Objective
To understand the differences and similarities in the estimated excess deaths in New York City during COVID-19 and 1918 Influenza Pandemics
1 Credit CME

During the 1918 H1N1 influenza pandemic, there were approximately 50 million influenza-related deaths worldwide, including 675 000 in the US. Few persons in the US have a frame of reference for the historic levels of excess mortality currently being observed during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.1 In this study, excess deaths in New York City during the peak of the 1918 H1N1 influenza pandemic were compared with those during the initial period of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Article Information

Accepted for Publication: July 9, 2020.

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2020 Faust JS et al. JAMA Network Open.

Published: August 13, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.17527

Correction: This article was corrected on September 9, 2020, to fix the y-axis labels in the Figure.

Corresponding Author: Jeremy S. Faust, MD, MS, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Division of Health Policy and Public Health, Department of Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School, 10 Vining St, Boston, Massachusetts 02115 (jsfaust@gmail.com).

Author Contributions: Dr. Faust had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Concept and design: Faust, del Rio.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Faust, Lin.

Drafting of the manuscript: Faust, del Rio.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.

Statistical analysis: Faust, Lin.

Administrative, technical, or material support: del Rio.

Supervision: Faust.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Lin reported working under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Dr del Rio reported receiving grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health during the conduct of the study. No other disclosures were reported.

References
1.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Excess deaths associated with COVID-19. Published July 1, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm
2.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Products—vital statistics of the US 1890-1938. Published June 6, 2019. Accessed July 7, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/vsus/vsus_1890_1938.htm
3.
NYC Health. COVID-19: data summary. Accessed July 7, 2020. https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data.page
4.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Surveillance System. Accessed July 7, 2020. https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/mortality.html
5.
US Census Bureau.2017 National population projections tables: main series. Accessed July 15, 2020. https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2017/demo/popproj/2017-summary-tables.html
6.
Pew Research Center. US politics & policy. Published April 16, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2020. https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2020/04/16/most-americans-say-trump-was-too-slow-in-initial-response-to-coronavirus-threat/
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