January 25, 2023: COVID Weekly Data Update

Excess Deaths In November 2020, I made an Epi 101 video with the City of Brookings discussing how excess deaths were calculated (YouTube link).  During the three years of 2017 to 2019, weekly observed deaths exceeded the upper 95% threshold for expected deaths four times nationally and three times in South Dakota.  As shown below,Continue reading “January 25, 2023: COVID Weekly Data Update”

January 18, 2023: COVID Weekly Data Update

South Dakota Deaths The DOH posted its updated mortality data for 2022 through October (link) and the results are shown below.  Vaccines and Sudden Death – Separating fact from fiction Nineteen percent of South Dakotans, and 16% of Brookings County residents, aged 18 years and older, have received the updated bivalent COVID-19 vaccine.  This isContinue reading “January 18, 2023: COVID Weekly Data Update”

January 11, 2023: COVID Weekly Data Update

To date, one out of 282 South Dakotans has died with COVID.  The number of cases in South Dakota continues to be low but this number does not include positive home tests.  There is an overall COVID fatigue but we should continue to be vigilant and hopefully, we can get through the next couple ofContinue reading “January 11, 2023: COVID Weekly Data Update”

January 4, 2023: COVID Weekly Data Update

Variants XBB.1.5 is the variant that many public health officials are monitoring.  The CDC estimates the XBB.1.5 variant currently represents 41% of the COVID cases in the U.S. (see below; link).  It is the predominant variant in Region 1, which includes the states in New England, where it is estimated that 75% of the casesContinue reading “January 4, 2023: COVID Weekly Data Update”

December 28, 2022: COVID Weekly Data Update

Influenza The increase in the number of flu cases this past week slowed down a little but is still increasing.  There have been 9,571 cases diagnosed this flu season, with 350 hospitalizations and 8 deaths.   The graph below was from the South Dakota Epi Listserv.  Additional information on the flu in South Dakota, as wellContinue reading “December 28, 2022: COVID Weekly Data Update”

December 21, 2022: COVID Weekly Data Update

South Dakota Mortality Data Through September 2022 The SDDOH released the provisional data for 2022 deaths through September (link here).  Below are the number of deaths by year and month since 2010.  Excess deaths was calculated as the difference between currently observed deaths in 2022 minus the average number of deaths between January and SeptemberContinue reading “December 21, 2022: COVID Weekly Data Update”

December 14, 2022: COVID Weekly Data Update

Rates of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths by Vaccination Status The following graph is based on data from 21 health departments, including the South Dakota Department of Health, and can be found on the CDC website.  The following is a summary taken from the CDC: Take home message:  Now would be a good time to getContinue reading “December 14, 2022: COVID Weekly Data Update”

December 7, 2022: COVID Weekly Data Update

The Triple Threat is Here The triple threat from COVID, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is here.  This is discussed in greater detail elsewhere; below are the highlights as well as data specific to South Dakota.  In summary, these data indicate a likely strain on hospitals and healthcare providers now or in the nearContinue reading “December 7, 2022: COVID Weekly Data Update”

November 30, 2022: COVID Weekly Data Update

Risks Associated with COVID Reinfection A previous study from the VA Administration on the risks associated with reinfection has been published in final form in Nature (I previously discussed the preliminary results).  As shown below, the risk (HR, hazard ratio) of adverse outcomes increases as the number of reinfections increases.  Title:  Cumulative risk and burdenContinue reading “November 30, 2022: COVID Weekly Data Update”

November 16, 2022: COVID Weekly Data Update

SARS-CoV-2 in Wastewater & Sludge Monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 replicates in wastewater and sludge may provide a means of determining the degree to which the virus is circulating in a community. Wastewater replicates are thought to indicate the amount of virus at that point in time, while sludge replicates are thought to indicate the amount ofContinue reading “November 16, 2022: COVID Weekly Data Update”

November 9, 2022: COVID Weekly Data Update

Flu Season Based on the SDDOH data, it does look like flu season is starting early, as previously predicted by the CDC.  It’s interesting to note that the average number of hospitalizations and deaths per year in South Dakota from influenza between 2017 and 2021 were 477 and 35, respectively.  Just for comparison, so farContinue reading “November 9, 2022: COVID Weekly Data Update”