Health departments in several states confirmed to The Epoch Times that they are looking into a steep surge in the mortality rate for people aged 18 to 49 in 2021—a majority of which are not linked to COVID-19.
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Deaths among people aged 18 to 49 increased more than 40 percent in the 12 months ending October 2021 compared to the same period in 2018–2019, before the pandemic, according to an analysis by The Epoch Times of death certificate data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The agency doesn’t yet have full 2021 figures, as death certificate data has a lag of up to eight weeks or more.
The surge differed greatly from state to state, with the most dramatic increase in young-to-middle age deaths in the South, Midwest, and the West Coast, while the northeastern states generally saw much milder spikes. Public health authorities in several states with some of the largest increases are examining the issue.
Texas saw the 18 to 49 age mortality jump 61 percent, the second-highest increase in the country. Of that, less than 58 percent was attributed to COVID-19.
“Our Center of Health Statistics is looking at the data,” said Chris Van Deusen, the head of Media Relations at the Texas Department of State Health Services, via email. “We’ll get back with you.”
Florida, which saw an increase of 51 percent, 48 percent of that attributed to COVID-19, is also probing the matter.
“I am looking into it to see if there is some sort of correlation/causation,” said Jeremy Redfern, spokesman for the Florida Department of Health via email.
Nevada saw the highest increase, 65 percent, of which just 36 percent was attributed to COVID-19.
Shannon Litz, a public information officer at the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, said via email she passed on questions regarding the mortality spike to the agency’s Office of Analytics “for review.”
The District of Columbia experienced an increase of 72 percent, none of it attributed to COVID-19.
Robert Mayfield, spokesman for D.C.’s health authority, referred The Epoch Times to the district’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), which suggested it lacked the expertise to analyze the phenomenon.
“OCME does not currently have an epidemiologist (the position is being advertised) so it has no present ability to analyze the data,” said the office’s spokesman Rodney Adams via email.
Arizona recorded a 57 percent increase, 37 percent of which was attributed to COVID-19.
Arizona’s Department of Health Services couldn’t respond to questions regarding the issue because its data is “not yet finalized,” said Tom Herrmann, the agency’s public information officer, via email.