Coronavirus emerged as one of the leading causes of deaths in the United States as around 4,60,000 deaths linked to the virus were recorded in 2021, highlights one of the latest reports by the top medical body – the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The number of deaths in the year was 60,000 higher than the previous year, according to the official data.
“For a second year, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer,” the report underlines, adding that “overall death rates were highest among non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaskan Native and non-Hispanic Black or African American populations.”
The US saw the highest date in 2021 since 2003, according to the top medical body. “Although COVID-19 death rates decreased for persons aged ≥85 years, age groups <75 years saw large increases from 2020 to 2021,” its report says.
The United States has the highest overall Covid tally in the world with more than 8 crore cases reported since the start of the pandemic.
While the situation has largely improved with vaccine coverage expanding, the CDC has warned that the SARS-CoV-2 is constantly changing.
Alpha variant emerged in the first half of 2021 while an even more transmissible Delta variant later became dominant. A highly infectious Omicron variant then drove the surge.
“In recent weeks, BA.2.12.1, an Omicron sublineage (sometimes called a “subvariant”), has emerged and is increasing in prevalence in parts of the country. Some early evidence suggests BA.2.12.1 is increasing in variant proportion faster than other Omicron sublineages. CDC is working to better understand BA.2.12.1, how it spreads, and how well existing treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 work against it,” reads a statement from the body.
More than 98 per cent of the country’s population is living in the country with low or medium Covid community levels.