Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

A Pandemic since When?

Version 1 : Received: 17 September 2020 / Approved: 18 September 2020 / Online: 18 September 2020 (11:31:51 CEST)

How to cite: Almogy, G. A Pandemic since When?. Preprints 2020, 2020090436. Almogy, G. A Pandemic since When?. Preprints 2020, 2020090436.


late in December 2019 2019-nCoV was identified as the pathogen responsible for an outbreak of severe respiratory distress in Wuhan, China. The virus was detected in multiple countries during January, but it is believed widespread community transmission began late in February or early March. Since March the virus has caused over 100k confirmed deaths in the US, with some states more severely impacted, notably NY and NJ. Here I examine excess mortality at the national and state level from January through July 2020. I find that the increase in excess mortality began in late February, suggesting the pathogen was circulating undetected earlier than assumed. The timing and intensity of the increase in excess mortality varied across states, with two patterns emerging: an early, sharp increase reaching a peak during April-May, best exemplified by NY and NJ, and a shallower, sustained increase, reaching a peak in late July, observed mostly in the southern regions of the US.


2019-nCoV; COVID-19; excess mortality; all-cause deaths; case fatality ratio; CFR; early transmission; SARS


Biology and Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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