Safety

COVID-19 projected to be third-highest cause of death in US for 2020

The National Safety Council reported that COVID-19 will likely be the third-leading cause of death in 2020 behind only heart disease and cancer.

By National Safety Council (NSC) August 19, 2020
Courtesy: Chris Vavra, CFE Media

The National Safety Council reported that the mortality numbers for COVID-19 already have surpassed the total annual number of preventable, accidental deaths in 2018, the most recent year of final data – and it is only August. At this pace, COVID-19 likely will be the third leading cause of death in 2020, behind only heart disease and cancer. It would mark the first time since 2016 that preventable deaths – which include drug overdoses, motor vehicle crashes and falls – would not be the third-leading cause of death in the United States.

According to the latest data, the number of confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. now exceeds 170,000, eclipsing the total number of preventable deaths in 2018 (167,127).

Although preliminary, this grim milestone clearly illustrates the scale of the pandemic. In a little more than six months, COVID-19 has claimed more lives than accidental drug overdoses, motor vehicle crashes and falls combined during 2018. In addition, COVID-19 is having an impact on preventable deaths, with increases in opioid overdose and motor vehicle fatality rates as an indirect consequence of the pandemic.


National Safety Council (NSC)