The local Star Tribune’s recent headline reads as COVID deaths in Minnesota surpass 13,000, the risk profile has a twist. This death roll was reportedly hardest “on the elderly, unhealthy/unvaccinated, and women reportedly comprising 55% of the deaths reported so far.
Responding to the reported death trend, Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, told the Tribune that women are historically known for taking better health precautions and said “you can come up with 100 different reasons why women may be more exposed now, perhaps because they were more diligent about not being exposed earlier (in the pandemic). But it’s not clear.”
However, the health leaders are reportedly hopeful that “COVID-19 deaths will continue to decline, and said the elevated share of deaths among women is based on low numbers and perhaps is a statistical oddity. The death rate nationally remains higher among men.”
Kathy Como-Sabetti, manager of the COVID-19 epidemiology section of the Minnesota Department of Health, reportedly told the Tribune “with vaccine, with therapeutics, with all of the advances in … prevention and treatment of COVID, I think there is reason to be optimistic.”
Dr. Osterholm added “What we had seen in the previous part of the pandemic was these big mountain peaks and then these big valleys. We’ve kind of hit the high plains, the plateau.”
Como-Sabetti explained to Tribune “The BA.5 coronavirus strain that is causing most COVID-19 cases right now has shown an ability to break through immunity and infect people, but it hasn’t caused as much severe illness as other variants. The worry would be a more severe variant that could similarly break through the immunity shield.”