Hispanics and black Americans are dying disproportionately fast from Covid-19, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study, published Friday in the weekly report Morbidity and Mortality, looked at changes in the demographic situation of deaths from pandemics over the summer.
Between May and August, 114,411 Americans lost their lives to Covid-19. Elderly white men were among the highest number of deaths.
But blacks caused nearly 18 percent of the deaths during that time, even though they made up only 12.5 percent of the U.S. population. Latinos accounted for more than 24% of deaths, but accounted for 18.5% of the population.
Demographics began to change in the summer. The percentage of Latin American deaths from May to August increased from 16% to more than 26% of total deaths, while the proportion of deaths that were white or black decreased.
The CDC said there was a geographical shift in mortality. The highest death toll at the beginning of the pandemic was in the northeast, but the numbers changed to the west and south. The geographical difference, however, cannot explain the increase in the death rate among the Hispanic community, the CDC said.
The researchers believe that the pandemic was more severe for the Latin American community because they may have had a greater impact on Covid-19 through their work. Latinos are also more likely to live in large family households or live with many generations in the same family, which complicates social distance.
About a quarter of all pandemic deaths occur in places where people live in groups in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Many of these deaths occurred early in the pandemic. But as nursing homes ceased to allow outsiders and more aggressively tested residents and isolated patients, these deaths slowed, and during the pandemic there was a shift to a young and uninstitutional population.
To limit the spread of the disease, the CDC continues to encourage people to use their faces, wash their hands frequently, keep their distance from others, and avoid large fees.