(WSYR-TV) — As the number of Americans hospitalized with COVID-19 is up 40 percent in the last month, there is some encouraging news about the chance of recovering.
Seven months into the pandemic, survival rates, even for seriously ill patients, appear to be improving significantly.
Why is this? Have treatments gotten better? Could it be age?
As older people took greater precautions to avoid infection, the average COVID patient is now under the age of 40, generally more healthy and resilient.
Researchers at NYU considered those questions when they analyzed the outcomes for more than 5,000 hospitalized patients March through August.
Even when they controlled for differences in the patients’ age, sex, race, underlying health problems and severity of symptoms, they found that death rates had dropped significantly.
They dropped from 25.6 in March to 7.6% in August.
This concluded that healthcare workers have gotten much better at treating for COVID.
More experience has led to knowing what complications to watch out for, using steroid drugs and non-drug interventions.
Researchers also give some of the credit to us, with heightened community awareness and patients seeking care earlier in the course of their illness.
But, medical experts worry that the surges in cases around the county could roll back the improvements in survival.