COVID-19 was the 3rd leading cause of death in the US for all of 2020

COVID-19 swab
  • COVID-19 caused or contributed to nearly 378,000 US deaths last year.
  • Only heart disease and cancer killed more people in the US in 2020.
  • And the pandemic isn't over in the US. At least 547,296 people have died.
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The COVID-19 pandemic was the third leading cause of death in the US for all of 2020, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a weekly report out Wednesday, the CDC revealed that COVID-19 was listed as an underlying or contributing cause of nearly 378,000 deaths - roughly 11% of the nearly 3.4 million total deaths in the US last year.

When looking solely at underlying causes of death, COVID-19 was listed in approximately 345,000 cases.

Only heart disease and cancer killed more people in the United States than COVID-19 in 2020, according to the report. COVID-19 pushed suicide out of the top 10 leading causes of death last year, the CDC said.

The age-adjusted death rate also rose in the US for the first time in three years - from 715 deaths per 100,000 people in 2019 to nearly 829 deaths per 100,000 people in 2020.

The deadliest weeks of the pandemic arrived in April and December: The US saw nearly 80,000 COVID-19 deaths from April 5-11 and roughly 81,000 deaths from December 20-26, according to the CDC.

In total, nearly 550,000 people have died in the US since the disease began to spread and more than 30 million people have tested positive for the virus.

People across the world have started getting vaccines, though health officials have been cautious to say exactly when enough people will be vaccinated to curb the spread of the disease.

A 120-page report issued by the World Health Organization on Tuesday suggested that the virus likely jumped from bats to people via an intermediary animal host.

But WHO investigators were unable to identify exactly which species of bats carried the virus.

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