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18 Dec, 2020 09:54

July 2020 may have been deadliest month ever for young Americans, including wartime

July 2020 may have been deadliest month ever for young Americans, including wartime

A damning new report suggests that, in the month of July alone, some 16,500 young Americans aged 25 to 44 lost their lives in what may prove to be the deadliest month in US history for young adults.

According to a recent research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, between March and July, 76,088 young Americans between the ages of 25 and 44 died, with the leading causes of mortality largely remaining the same, but exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. 

For context, during the height of WWII, US casualties averaged 6,600 per month. 

Outside of wartime, the average estimated level of mortality for the month of July should be around 13,000, resulting in an excess mortality of 3,400. 

Each year, some 150,000 adults in this age demographic would be expected to pass away, but thanks to the pandemic and its associated stresses, this year it looks likely to surpass 170,000. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) around 2,000 people aged between 25 and 34 have so far died from Covid-19 across the US. Some 7,070 adults in their late 30s and early 40s have also died from the disease.

Going by the official data, the Covid-19 fatalities account for only one-third of the excess deaths.

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The preliminary data suggests the pandemic accelerated overdose deaths, though given the sheer volume of reports needed to accurately convey the scale of the collateral destruction wrought by Covid-19, on top of its own death toll, the true scale of the disaster that was 2020 will likely take years to fully calculate.

However, the CDC already estimates, with some degree of certainty, that the US will surpass last year’s grim record number of opioid deaths, as overall use of synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, increased by an estimated 38 percent compared to 2018-2019, while some western states reported a 98-percent increase in synthetic opioid-involved deaths. 

“The disruption to daily life due to the Covid-19 pandemic has hit those with substance use disorder hard,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a statement.

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