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Idaho estimates resident death count increased beyond virus

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho state officials estimate hundreds of more residents have died than in a normal year, even without counting fatalities that are attributed to the coronavirus.

The state estimates 861 more Idaho residents died between January and September this year than died on average during those months in the past three years, The Idaho Statesman reported Sunday.

Officials said 447 of those deaths were attributed directly to COVID-19.

"This is not a typical year for us," said Pam Harder, research analyst supervisor at the Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, which is part of the state Department of Health and Welfare.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates Idaho has had between 345 and 931 "excess deaths" since Feb. 1.

Anywhere from 10% to more than half of those deaths were not attributed to COVID-19, the agency said.

The coronavirus, however, is now one of the top causes of death in the state, overtaking diabetes, suicide, chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and influenza.

All figures are preliminary and can change because of delays in death certificates and other factors, Harder said.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some - especially older adults and people with existing health problems - it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus Coverage

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