Why does Louisiana have the highest Covid-19 mortality rate in the US?

A mobile corona virus testing point. Photo: AP.
A mobile corona virus testing point. Photo: AP.

St. John in Louisiana has the highest Covid-19 death rate in the United States, almost everyone knows an infected person.

St. John is a county located about 30 km from New Orleans, the state capital of Louisiana. The county’s first case of Covid-19 was confirmed on March 13, just four days after the hospital in New Orleans announced its first positive case for Louisiana’s corona virus.

County officials have tried to do the best they can. Leadership John is Jaclyn Hotard proclaiming a state of emergency, the sheriff issuing a nightly curfew to teenagers, and then applying it to all residents of St. John. John. The county wound house, where 144 elderly people live, has been closed to outsiders.

The highest death rate in the United States

As the epidemic spread throughout the United States as well as New Orleans, the number of deaths increased rapidly. By the beginning of April, the St. John with 42,837 residents had a higher Covid-19 mortality rate than anywhere else in the United States.

“We have serial killers on the streets that can’t be seen,” Mr. Hotard admitted.

When the epidemic began to cool down in urban hotspots, rural and suburban communities like St. John is becoming a concern of state leaders in the United States. In many cases, limited access to the test has caused the virus to spread for weeks without being detected.

Residents of St. John was not tested until April 15 when two test sites were set up in parishes near the Mississippi River, nearly five weeks after the county discovered the first Covid-19 case. At St. John, at least 768 people were infected with Covid-19, of which 69 have died as of April 30.

Of the 64 counties in Louisiana, St. John ranks 6th in the number of people infected with Covid-19, but the number of tests conducted here is only 14th.

Louisiana officials believe that limited testing plays a big part in the worrying mortality rate in St. John, currently at nearly 9%. The district is believed to have many undiscovered cases, which could bring the actual death rate closer to the state’s 6%, according to Alexander Billioux, assistant state governor for public health. copper.

Billioux said the abnormally high mortality rate could be attributed to the fact that a large proportion of residents have underlying diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, leaving the body vulnerable to virus attacks. However, Mr. Billioux also admitted that the above reasons could not fully explain the actual situation.

“We are concerned that we are witnessing an excessive death rate because there are many undiscovered Covid-19 infections. And that is the reason for increasing testing capacity here. rural areas, accounting for 80% of the state’s residents, are fully tested, “Billioux said.

Everyone has an acquaintance of the disease

Hispanics account for the majority of Covid-19 deaths in Louisiana. Photo: AP.
Hispanics account for the majority of Covid-19 deaths in Louisiana. Photo: AP.

The corona virus and its deadly effects have caused undue pressure and burden for the people living in St. John.

“We had a small church, but lost the deacon, the pastor’s mother died, and now my two sisters are gone,” said Madeline Jasmine, a judge in Louisiana. John, said. Three of Jasmine’s brothers and two cousins ​​tested positive for Covid-19, but later recovered.

Public health officials have transferred a portion of laboratory workforce from New Orleans to rural counties near the Mississippi River. Through collaboration with local clinics, businesses and the National Guard, mobile testing points have been established, with the purpose of rapid testing.

St. John currently has 7 test points. All residents can now be tested for free, in some places accepting tests for asymptomatic people.

Louisiana has conducted 161,000 tests across the state in 7 weeks, since the first case was discovered on 9/3, a health agency official said. Louisiana currently has the fourth highest number of tests in the total population in the United States.

Test sites have appeared on the West Bank of the Mississippi River, where the population is less sparsely populated, but is an area with a large population of African-Americans. This is part of a state government’s effort to address racial health discrimination that some criticisms have raised in the context of a pandemic.

African Americans account for 58% of all deaths in Louisiana, though only 33% of the state’s population. At St. John, people of color make up about 58% of the population, and 55% of deaths due to Covid-19.

“Every two to three days, we lose a few more people. We don’t know what’s going on,” said Darrell Butler, a construction worker living on the West Bank of the Mississippi River.

Butler said he spent the morning packing 400 meals, including red beans, rice, grilled chicken, and green vegetables, to provide anti-corona-related activities outside the high school in the area.

Butler’s uncle spent 21 days in the hospital with Covid-19 infection before recovering. Meanwhile, Butler’s sister is still hospitalized after 9 days of illness. The man said he had tested and had a negative result.

“Before, people didn’t know this was a serious disease, they still gathered and held parties in the yard,” Butler said.

Currently, all the people have been alert. Many people go out wearing a mask. For people in St. John, almost everyone knows an infected person.

“We were hit really hard. I know some families lost two to the disease,” said Ronnie Feist, president of the West St. Civil Society. John, said.

Outbreak from war invalids

Rural and suburban areas are becoming concerns of state leaders in the United States. Photo: Washington Post.
Rural and suburban areas are becoming concerns of state leaders in the United States. Photo: Washington Post.

Southeast Louisiana wounded home is believed to be the site of the corona virus outbreak in St. John. If excluding the deaths of the elderly here, the mortality rate of St. John will be nearly as low as the statewide, though still higher than the entire US.

Relatives of the elderly people living here said they could not find the way the virus entered the wounded home, leaving 79 people sick, 26 dead. 20 facility staff were also infected. Meanwhile, many other facilities in the state of Luoisiana do not have, or only 1 case of infection.

“How has the wounded caret been such a high number of infected people? My father could not move so he could not touch other people. So if my father were infected, that would mean everything.” others were also infected, “said Neal Hebert, whose father died of Covid-19 on April 3 at the wounded home.

The lack of testing may have obscured the size of the disease at the wounded home in the early days of the epidemic. The first person at the wounded home who tested positive for Covid-19 was discovered on March 23, 11 days after the facility was closed to outsiders.

Six days later, Barbara Serpas received a call from the wounded, announcing that her father, Raymond Doran, had died at the age of 98. Serpas suspected Covid-19 was the cause because she said her father in “perfectly fine” health.

The woman requested a post-mortem test for her father, but this request was rejected. Barbara then asked the coroner in another area, where the funeral home was in charge of the burial, to recommend testing. The result of Doran’s body test was positive for Covid-19.

Julie Baxter Payer, a Louisiana state official, said it could not comment on specific cases. However, Payer emphasized that the Covid-19 test kits were very scarce during the early outbreak, and only used for symptomatic persons or in hospitals.

Now testing is on a larger scale. All residents of St. John has been tested at least once. Last week, the war invalids had enough equipment to help 57 patients conduct the second test.

Source: https://behecare.com/