Newswise: UCLA researchers use artificial intelligence tools to speed critical information on drug overdose deaths

Newswise: UCLA researchers use artificial intelligence tools to speed critical information on drug overdose deaths. “An automated process based on computer algorithms that can read text from medical examiners’ death certificates can substantially speed up data collection of overdose deaths – which in turn can ensure a more rapid public health response time than the system currently used, new UCLA research finds.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Missouri launches data dashboard to track rising drug overdose deaths

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Missouri launches data dashboard to track rising drug overdose deaths. “In addition to an online COVID-19 data dashboard showing the seriousness of the pandemic, the state of Missouri has launched another public dashboard to track the increasing number of drug overdose deaths. Drug overdose has become the leading cause of death among Missouri adults age 18 to 44, state health officials say. More than 70% of the deaths involve opioids such as heroin and fentanyl.”

Fast Company: How many preventable COVID deaths happened in your state? This map will tell you

Fast Company: How many preventable COVID deaths happened in your state? This map will tell you. “As the United States passes the somber milestone of 1 million deaths from COVID-19, a new analysis and interactive dashboard visualizes how many of those deaths didn’t have to happen. The analysis, led by researchers at the Brown School of Public Health, looks at total deaths from the virus in each state and then calculates how much lower the figures would be had the pace of vaccination not slowed down from its peak.”

World Health Organization: WHO launches new Mortality Database visualization portal

World Health Organization: WHO launches new Mortality Database visualization portal. “Since its founding in 1948, WHO has required all Member States to report mortality data and collected this information in the WHO Mortality Database. Today, this unique database is the oldest and largest of its kind, containing data from over 120 countries and areas by cause, year, sex, and age. The portal is a significant step towards ensuring mortality data is used to drive impact in countries. Among other features, users can now filter and compare information by disease category or age group. They can also use interactive visualizations to view the data by number of deaths, death rates per 100 000, or as a percentage of total deaths.”

Lifehacker: How to Preserve Your Digital Legacy (and Why You Should)

Lifehacker: How to Preserve Your Digital Legacy (and Why You Should). “What’s truly disturbing about our digital legacies is how impermanent they might prove to be. Once you’re no longer here to maintain it, it could be edited or altered—or simply deleted. Twitter is currently littered with the official, verified accounts of celebrities who passed away but somehow keep on posting fresh content, but you don’t have to be a celebrity to want some say in how your online presence gets used after you’re gone.”

CNET: The App That Prepares You for Death

CNET: The App That Prepares You for Death. “When someone you love passes away, it’s impossibly hard to prioritize all the logistics. You’re facing unimaginable stress and grief all at once, so when it comes time to negotiate funeral planning, insurance records, legal and financial documents, and more, it can be overwhelming. So it’s important to get all of this sorted before you’re reeling from loss. Enter Bereev, a death preparation app that’s beginning to make waves in Australia.”

Nearly 1 million COVID-19 deaths: A look at the US numbers (Associated Press)

Associated Press: Nearly 1 million COVID-19 deaths: A look at the US numbers. “The pandemic has generated gigabytes of data that make clear which U.S. groups have been hit the hardest. More than 700,000 people 65 and older died. Men died at higher rates than women. White people made up most of the deaths overall, yet an unequal burden fell on Black, Hispanic and Native American people considering the younger average age of minority communities. Racial gaps narrowed between surges then widened again with each new wave.”

University of Bath: New modelling shows ‘shielding’ instead of lockdowns would have led to tens of thousands more deaths

University of Bath: New modelling shows ‘shielding’ instead of lockdowns would have led to tens of thousands more deaths . “Shielding strategies or ‘focused protection’, as advocated for in the Great Barrington Declaration, would have been impossible to implement in practice and would have likely led to far worse outcomes. Even if implemented perfectly, the modelling reveals that allowing the infection to spread through less vulnerable groups prior to vaccination would have overwhelmed health care capacity in the UK and led to tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths. In reality, practical considerations would have meant that large numbers of vulnerable people who were supposed to be protected would also have died.”

MediaZona: Who dies in the war with Ukraine. Research “Mediazona”

MediaZona, machine-translated to English: Who dies in the war with Ukraine. Research “Mediazona”. “Mediazona, together with a team of volunteers, studied more than 1,700 publications about the death of Russian soldiers in Ukraine. This is more than the official death toll given by the Russian Defense Ministry at the end of March; the real losses are, of course, much higher. The data we have collected allows us to judge what happens to the Russian army during the invasion. Here are some conclusions.”

Politico: UK government failed to protect care home residents from COVID, High Court rules

Politico: UK government failed to protect care home residents from COVID, High Court rules. “The U.K. government broke the law by failing to protect care home residents from COVID during the pandemic, the High Court ruled Wednesday. In March and April 2020, an unknown number of elderly patients in England were discharged from hospital into care homes, having contracted COVID and either died or passed the virus on to others. Judges concluded this was unlawful because it failed to take into account the risk to vulnerable residents from non-symptomatic transmission of the coronavirus.”

NPR: Their mom died of COVID. They say conspiracy theories are what really killed her

NPR: Their mom died of COVID. They say conspiracy theories are what really killed her. “As America approaches a million deaths from COVID-19, many thousands of families have been left wondering whether available treatments and vaccines could have saved their loved ones. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 230,000 deaths could have been avoided if individuals had gotten vaccinated. Not everyone who refuses a vaccine believes in elaborate conspiracy theories, but many likely do. Anti-vaccine advocates have leveraged the pandemic to sow mistrust and fear about the vaccines. Local papers across the country are dotted with stories of those who refused vaccination, only to find themselves fighting for their very lives against the disease.”

CDC: COVID-19 Was Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S.

CDC: COVID-19 Was Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S.. “Two reports released in today’s MMWR use CDC’s National Vital Statistics System to look at death rates in the United States and find that differences in death rates still remain between certain racial and ethnic minority groups. The first report provides an overview of provisional U.S. mortality data for 2021, including a comparison of death rates for all causes of death and for deaths involving COVID-19. The study found that the overall age-adjusted death rate increased by almost 1% in 2021 from 2020. Overall death rates were highest among non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Native and non-Hispanic Black or African American people. For the second year, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.”

New York Times: Shanghai’s Low Covid Death Toll Revives Questions About China’s Numbers

New York Times: Shanghai’s Low Covid Death Toll Revives Questions About China’s Numbers. “By the numbers, Shanghai has been an exemplar of how to save lives during a pandemic. Despite the city’s more than 400,000 Covid-19 infections, just 17 people have died, according to officials, statistics they have touted as proof that their strategy of strict lockdowns and mass quarantines works. But those numbers may not give a complete picture of the outbreak’s toll.”