This is rough summer for America….
Not just with the pandemic…
But also with extreme weather ….
During the deadly heat wave that blanketed Oregon and Washington in late June, about 600 more people died than would have been typical, a review of mortality data for the week of the crisis shows.
The number is three times as high as the states’ official estimates of heat-related deaths so far. It suggests that the true toll of the heat wave, which affected states and provinces across the Pacific Northwest, may be much larger than previously reported.
This week, the region is once again steeling itself for extreme heat.
The New York Times’ analysis, based on mortality data reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by the two states, covers all causes of death, including Covid-19. But the public health agency’s initial calculations indicate that only about 60 deaths in the region were related to the coronavirus that week.
The figures are preliminary. C.D.C. officials said the death count could rise further in coming weeks as the states continue to report. “Consider it a floor,” said Lauren Rossen, a health statistician at the agency who works with the mortality data.
The Times’ estimate “is entirely consistent with a large body of knowledge indicating that days of extreme heat are dangerous and can lead to excess deaths,” said Greg Wellenius, a professor in environmental health at Boston University who has studied heat-related mortality.
Evaluating what are termed “excess deaths” — the number of deaths above what would have been typical for a given period of time, based on mortality rates in previous years — can provide a more complete picture of the effects of extreme heat than official counts of heat-related deaths….