Fact Check: Covid as a Leading Cause of Death in Children

Link: https://www.covid-georgia.com/pediatric-news/fact-check-covid-is-a-leading-cause-of-death-in-children/



In the CDC ACIP meeting on June 17 to discuss childhood Covid vaccines, a table was presented showing Covid was a leading cause of death in US children as part of a slide deck on the epidemiology of Covid-19 in children and adolescents by Dr. Katherine Fleming-Dutra. The source was a pre-print written by a group of academics from the UK, including Dr. Deepti Gurdasani, who is well-known on Twitter for her strong views on Covid. I later learned that a very similar slide was also presented at the beginning of the FDA VRBPAC meeting earlier in the week.

The slide was shared on Twitter by Dr. Katelyn Jetelina (“Your Local Epidemiologist”), and retweeted by many influential people including Jerome AdamsJulia Raifman (tweet now deleted), Gregg Gonsalves, and Leana Wen. Only problem? It’s completely and utterly false. The pre-print it’s based on includes significant errors that invalidate the results. And the slide makes additional errors on top of the pre-print. It’s really disturbing that data this poor made its way into the meetings to discuss childhood Covid, and that it took me less that a few minutes to find a major flaw (and then I found many more as I looked deeper). I contacted the study’s corresponding author, Dr. Seth Flaxman, who originally said he’d get back to me on Monday, but responded early Sunday morning to get more information about the source of the Underlying Cause of Death data I used for Covid (the CDC WONDER database, Provisional Mortality Statistics, 2018-present). He later posted on Twitter to say than an updated pre-print would be available soon.


The second major issue with the pre-print are the time periods for the deaths. The underlying cause of death data is for a single year – 2019 (more on that later). However, the rankings of Covid deaths by age group in the pre-print include both cumulative (over 26 months) AND annualized deaths for some strange reason. That means Covid is inexplicably ranked twice for each age group.

Below is the table ranking leading causes of death for 15-19 year olds. Notice that Covid is listed both as the 4th AND the 6th leading cause of death. This is non-sensical and extremely misleading. It is completely inappropriate to compare the cumulative number of Covid deaths over 26 months to deaths from other causes over a one year period. The only way to make a fair comparison is to use an annualized number. There’s no good reason the cumulative number of Covid deaths over 26 months should be included on this list at all.

Author(s): Kelley in Georgia

Publication Date: accessed 22 Jun 2022

Publication Site: COVID-19 in Georgia

Essential Terms of the Authority Crisis

Link: https://polimath.substack.com/p/essential-terms-of-the-authority



This last week, the CDC held their ACIP meeting to discuss whether or not they should recommend the COVID vaccines for children 6 months to 5 years old. While presenting on the danger of the virus for children, a slide was shown claiming that COVID presented as one of the leading causes of death for children.

Kelley, who runs covid-georgia.com, saw this slide and immediately knew it was false. She has been tracking COVID data in excruciating detail in Georgia since the beginning of the pandemic and has recently become an expert on the CDC’s pediatric death data simply because it was such a disaster and she wanted to get down to the truth of the matter.

This slide above is no small error. Not only did it count the wrong number for pediatric COVID deaths, it compared all pediatric COVID deaths in a 26-month period to annualized deaths from other causes. This is a massive data error, and yet it persisted through a supposedly rigorous data check from 11 authors and was selected by top-tier scientists for their landmark presentation to the most knowledgeable experts in the field.

Author(s): Matt Shapiro

Publication Date: 21 Jun 2022

Publication Site: Marginally Compelling at substack

Severe hepatitis of ‘unknown origin’ in children being investigated in Canada

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/liver-disease-mystery-1.6431872



Public health officials say they’re investigating cases of severe liver disease “of unknown origin” among children in Canada as global scientists race to understand a mysterious hepatitis outbreak that has affected nearly 200 youths around the world.

“The Public Health Agency of Canada is aware of reports of severe acute hepatitis of unknown origin in young children in Canada,” the department said in a statement on Tuesday, in response to questions from CBC News.

“These are being investigated further to determine if they are related to cases in the United Kingdom and the United States. As the investigation evolves, we will keep the public updated accordingly.”

The latest available data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows at least 169 cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin have been reported in close to a dozen countries, with the bulk of the reports — 114 — from the U.K. 

Author(s): Lauren Pelley

Publication Date: 26 April 2022

Publication Site: CBC

1 death, 17 liver transplants in multi-country outbreak of hepatitis in children, WHO says

Link: https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/23/health/multi-country-outbreak-of-hepatitis-in-children/index.html


At least 169 cases of acute hepatitis in children aged one month to 16 years old have been identified in an outbreak that now involves 11 countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday.

Among the cases of acute hepatitis, at least one child has died and 17 children have required liver transplants, the WHO said in a news release.

“It is not yet clear if there has been an increase in hepatitis cases, or an increase in awareness of hepatitis cases that occur at the expected rate but go undetected,” the WHO said in a statement. “While adenovirus is a possible hypothesis, investigations are ongoing for the causative agent.”

Author(s): John Bonifield, Emma Tucker

Publication Date: 23 April 2022

Publication Site: CNN

Mortality with Meep: the Society of Actuaries Studies 2020 Excess Mortality, Life Expectancy Rebuttal, and More

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/mortality-with-meep-the-society-of



The first big improvement in the U.S. was in child mortality in the early 20th century — public health measures helped all ages, but the youngest the most. Then antibiotics and more and more vaccines improved mortality across the board, with children and young adults getting the most benefits. Improved auto safety and more stringent drunk driving laws helped all ages, but young adults the most (because they were the most idiotic drivers). We’ve seen improvements in middle age into old age due to reduced smoking and improved medical treatments — people who used to get their first heart attack in their 50s now see their first heart attack in their 70s… and it’s a lot less fatal now. And we’ve had amazing improvement in mortality at older ages.

It is very tempting to write a book about all the mortality trends we’ve got going on. The CDC has the data. They’ve issued reports on it. But few people really want to think about death. I’ll add it to my ever-expanding list of project ideas… (hey, Actuarial News was an idea for me for over a year… and now it’s here!)

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 1 March 2021

Publication Site: STUMP on Substack

Flu activity is ‘unusually low’ in the US: Can we keep it going in future years?

Link: https://www.today.com/health/flu-season-2020-2021-flu-activity-historic-lows-mask-wearing-t207131


Some 136 people were hospitalized for the flu between Oct. 1, 2020, and Jan. 16, 2021, and there were 292 deaths involving influenza during that period, the CDC reported. One child has died.

The flu season is far from over — it usually begins in the fall, and peaks between December and February.

But in comparison, 400,000 people were hospitalized for the flu and 22,000 died, including 434 children, during the entire 2019–2020 season, which the CDC described as “severe” for kids 4 years old and younger, and for adults 18-49 years old.

Author(s): A. Pawlowski

Publication Date: 27 January 2021

Publication Site: Today