COVID-19 has been the leading cause of death in LA for the past two years

February 4, 2022

COVID-19 has been the leading cause of death in Los Angeles County for the past two years, surpassing coronary heart disease, according to a Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announcement on Thursday.

Between March 2020 and December 2021, Los Angeles County recorded 24,947 COVID-19 deaths. During that same time, 21,513 residents died from coronary heart disease, historically the leading cause of death in the entire country. In addition, 3,422 people died from pneumonia and the flu during that time.

Although the latest increase in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant is declining, older and unvaccinated people are still at high risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death, the health department said.

“Unfortunately, despite the availability of vaccines and the dominance of Omicron, which generally causes less severe illness than previous variants, deaths from COVID-19 continue to far outnumber deaths from other respiratory diseases,” the announcement said. .

Before the pandemic, deaths from coronary heart disease regularly doubled every other cause of death in the province, according to Deadline. In 2017, for example, coronary heart disease was responsible for more than 11,000 deaths, followed by Alzheimer’s disease with 4,100 deaths. Pneumonia and the flu accounted for about 2,000 deaths.

According to the latest health department data, approximately 82% of eligible Los Angeles County residents have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. About 73% have been fully vaccinated and 34% have received a booster injection.

Children between 5 and 11 years have the lowest vaccination coverage: 32% have received one dose and 23% are fully vaccinated. In January, ages 5-11 represented 15% of all COVID-19 cases in the province, despite making up 9% of the population.

“Children are becoming infected with COVID-19,” Barbara Ferrer, the public health director, said at a news conference on Thursday.

Ferrer pointed to a recent analysis showing that Americans are dying from COVID-19 at twice the rate of the UK and four times the rate in Germany, citing low vaccination rates as the most likely reason.

“These local and national findings are important reminders that COVID has led to unimaginable illness and death,” she said. “Increasing vaccination and booster rates offers the best hope of reducing the most tragic outcome of a COVID infection.”

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