The Centers for Disease Control just launched a new weekly report to keep radiologists and other providers apprised of the pandemic’s latest developments.
Agency officials are also rolling out several new studies aimed at better pinpointing undetected cases of the disease. In its first “COVIDView” update released Friday, the CDC reported increased visits to outpatient providers and emergency departments in recent months for coronavirus-like symptoms.
CDC also noted an 8.2% increase in numbers of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza, above the epidemic threshold of 7.2%.
“The percent of deaths due to pneumonia has increased sharply since the end of February, while those due to influenza increased modestly through early March and declined this week,” the centers wrote April 3. “This could reflect an increase in deaths from pneumonia caused by non-influenza associated infections, including COVID-19.”
Overall, the cumulative coronavirus-associated hospitalization rate is at 4.6 per 100,000, according to the report. Seniors 65 and older at the highest risk for hospitalization (13.8 per 100,000), followed by individuals 50-64, at a rate of 7.4. Such rates are comparable to what’s typically seen at the beginning of the annual influenza season.
The National Center for Health Statistics is also tracking the U.S. death rate from coronavirus, and will update its totals each week in COVIDView. Their preliminary analysis indicates that about half of fatalities with coronavirus listed as a cause of death also include pneumonia as a contributor. As of late Monday, there were more than 350,000 confirmed cases of the disease in the U.S., with 10,3894 deaths.
Meanwhile, the CDC has launched several efforts to help it get a more precise count of undetected cases of the virus. The agency’s deputy incident manager for the pandemic response said it’s doing so through three related studies, with one already underway using blood samples from patients in pandemic hotspots, according to a report.