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COVID-19 mortality far outpaces recent influenza outbreaks, officials say

Clark County Public Health confirmed 21 new cases of novel coronavirus on Thursday morning, bringing the total for the week so far to 174.

The county has seen a total of 2,181 cases and 42 deaths since the first cases were diagnosed in early March. No new deaths have been reported since Aug. 7.

The new numbers come as Clark County Public Health released data comparing the mortality rates of influenza and COVID-19, showing deaths from novel coronavirus were consistently higher.

So far in 2020, one person had died from influenza in the most recent time period available, according to Public Health, while COVID-19 had claimed 37 people. That put the COVID-19 mortality rate per 100,000 population at 7.6, compared with an influenza mortality rate of 0.2.

The highest recent influenza mortality rate came in the 2016-17 flu season, with 26 deaths and a mortality rate of 5.5 per 100,000 population.

Data examining the fatality rate of influenza and COVID-19 showed a similar disparity, with a 2.36 percent case fatality rate for COVID-19 so far this year and a 0.03 percent case fatality rate for influenza. The highest case fatality rate for influenza came in the 2016-17 flu season, at 0.40 percent.

PeaceHealth Southwest and Legacy Salmon Creek medical centers have 21 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 with another 10 patients waiting on test results. The Clark County hospitals are 65.9 percent occupied — 4.9 percent COVID-19 patients or suspected patients.

Statewide there are 64,702 cases and 1,724 deaths. Washington currently has a fatality rate of 2.7 percent.


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