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Worst year: 25% increase in overall deaths in Arizona in 2020

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Washington-Arizona’s total death toll increased by 25% year-on-year in 2020, approaching 50% in some counties in the year COVID-19 became the state’s leading homicide.

Data on the cause of death are not expected until later this year, but experts say the “exceptional increase” in death is due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the deaths that may have been indirectly caused by the pandemic. I think it is.

“COVID seems to be the reason,” said Professor David Sclar of the University of Health Solutions at Arizona State University. “Other problems such as opioid-related deaths have also increased, people’s driving has decreased, and problems such as pedestrian-related deaths have decreased due to fewer outings. However, COVID has contributed significantly to our growth. I am. “

Arizona Health Department this month 75,133 people died In the 2020 state, an increase of 24.9% from the reported 60,161 deaths in 2019.

Holly Pointer, a state health spokesman, is likely to be “caused by COVID-19 death,” but state officials will ensure that complete data on the cause of death are available later. He said he couldn’t say. this year.

The increase in deaths is not evenly distributed throughout the state, with Apache and Yuma counties reporting 48.9% and 48.8% increases, respectively. Meanwhile, deaths increased 14.29% in Greenlee County and 16.2% in Cochise County.

In Apache County, where total deaths increased from 734 in 2019 to 1,093 in 2020, county health director Preston Laban said COVID-19 was the driving force, but the only increase in deaths. Said that it was not a factor.

“If I write it down on paper, there were X COVID deaths, followed by Y normal deaths, so that was the factor,” Raban said. “But there were so many dead people that I really raised my eyebrows and said,’Wow, 2020 was an interesting year.'”

Yuma County Communications Director Kevin Tanel was busy supporting the county “in full vaccine mode” on Wednesday and was unable to attend the interview. But he said the increase in deaths in the county last year “is to a large extent that COVIDs make up the majority of that number.”

Related story

A year after the first case in Arizona, COVID-19 is now a major murderer

Reports of increased deaths are due to COVID-19 becoming the leading cause, outpacing cancer and heart disease. cause of death Last year in Arizona. Justin Lessler, an associate professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, said the surge wasn’t only in Arizona.

According to wrestlers, 25% were “a truly exceptional increase,” “because of this new cause of death, which killed everyone except two other causes last year.” “Last year, only heart disease and cancer killed more people than COVID, and it almost reaches the level that heart disease would kill in a normal year.”

Wrestlers echoed to others who said COVID-19 was not only a murderer in itself, but could have contributed to other deaths in 2020.

“I can have heart disease and maybe die in the next few years,” the wrestler said as an example. “It was bigger than the people around me, but because I got infected with COVID and that heart disease made it more severe. So I die.”

Wrestlers have the “more auxiliary impact” of the pandemic, including the social pressure of blockades leading to increased mortality from overdose and suicide, the need for overloaded hospitals, and in some cases the inability to provide life-saving care to patients. I pointed out the possibility.

“In some cases, people who had the COVID virus died with the COVID, but the COVID virus did not necessarily kill them,” Raban added.

Jeffrey Engel, senior adviser to the state legislature and regional epidemiologist for COVID-19, said what Arizona saw last year “may be typical” because of the relatively large number of people. , May have felt more serious in the state. Of the elderly in the state.

People over the age of 65 accounted for 9,573 out of 12,819 COVID19 Number of deaths According to the latest data from the State Department of Health, Arizona, or 75% of the total.

“I think this pandemic is over after this is over. We will look at ourselves in the mirror as a society and ask how to really care for the elderly,” Engel said.

For the time being, he said, it’s important not to be insensitive to the increasing number of people.

“There are people behind them all,” he said.

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