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COVID-19: Where are cases, deaths worst in U.S. and Ohio?

Where is the COVID-19 outbreak currently the worst? What highly populated states or countries have had comparatively little problem so far? And what do the data tell us about what lies ahead?

The Dayton Daily News analyzed data from the Ohio Department of Health, as well as Johns Hopkins University, to answer those questions and spot other trends.

All world and national data was from Johns Hopkins as of early Thursday morning. Ohio data is from the Ohio Department of Health’s Thursday afternoon update.

5 worldwide trends

• Where is it worst? Six nations account for about 88 percent of the world’s 21,306 COVID-19 deaths as of Thursday morning. Italy was by far the worst, with 7,504 deaths, followed by Spain (3,647), China (3,291), Iran (2,077), France (1,331) and the United States (1,042).

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• Where is it surging? Of those six nations, the U.S. had the fastest rising death total, with that number increasing by 206% from early Sunday to early Thursday. Spain was next worst at 164%, while France sat at 137%, according to the Johns Hopkins data.

• Where is it slowing? The new coronavirus first took off in China, but in recent days, the spread in China has nearly stopped. China’s number of confirmed cases rose only from 81,250 to 81,726 in the six days up to early Thursday. That means China, a nation of 1 billion people, had fewer new confirmed cases this week than Ohio, and fewer new deaths (26) than Michigan or Louisiana.

• Who hasn’t been hard-hit yet? India has over 1 billion residents but had reported only 14 deaths. Pakistan, Nigeria and Bangladesh are also among the 10 most populous nations in the world, but each had reported fewer than 10 deaths.

• Other facts: “Confirmed case” numbers come with some questions because of variances in testing, according to health officials. But if recent growth trends continue, the United States was expected to pass both Italy and China by early Friday for the highest number of confirmed cases of any nation in the world.

5 U.S. trends

• Where is it worst? With 366 COVID-19 deaths early Thursday, New York had roughly as many as the next five highest states combined — Washington (133), California (67), Louisiana (65), New Jersey (62) and Georgia (47), according to the Johns Hopkins data. California and New York are among the most populous states, but Washington is 13th, and Louisiana is 25th.

• Where is it surging? Several states, including Louisiana, New Jersey and Michigan, have a fast-rising death rate, but still had fewer than 100 deaths. But New York is the worst, as it has both a high number of deaths and a rapidly increasing rate, with a nearly 10-fold increase in deaths in six days, from 38 to 366.

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• Where is it slowing? Washington state had the first very deadly outbreak in the U.S. The death toll there is still increasing, but at a lower rate than in many other states — a 20% increase Monday, 13% Tuesday and 6% Wednesday.

• Who hasn’t been hard-hit yet? About 10 lower-population states had not reported a COVID-19 death as of early Thursday, including West Virginia, according to the Johns Hopkins data. Among bigger states, death rates have been comparatively lower in Texas (second-most people, 12th most deaths) and Ohio (seventh-most people, 16th-most deaths). North Carolina, with about 10 million people, reported its first two deaths Wednesday.

• Other facts: Nationally, the U.S. death toll increased five-fold in the six days from last Friday to Thursday, from 205 to 1,042.

5 Ohio trends

• Death toll: Thankfully, Ohio’s death toll from COVID-19 has stayed low enough that increases are marked by small handfuls of cases, rising in the past five days from three, to six, to eight, to 10, to 15, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s daily 2 p.m. updates.

• Confirmed cases:State officials warn against placing too much value on the number of confirmed cases, which depends significantly on the number of tests available and given. For what it’s worth, the number of confirmed cases in Ohio (867 as of Thursday) rose by 31-35% each day March 16-19, then rose by 42-46% each day March 20-22, then rose by 23-28% each day March 23-26.

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• Hot spots:Northeast Ohio has had the most confirmed cases from the start. Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, is the highest at 247. The number of cases in Franklin County, which includes Columbus, has risen in recent days and now sits at 106. The counties with the next-most cases were much lower — Hamilton (Cincinnati) with 52, Summit (Akron) with 49, Mahoning (Youngstown) with 48, and Lorain with 44.

More deaths north:As of Thursday afternoon, Ohio had 15 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. Some other deaths from recent days might eventually be assigned to the disease after test results for the deceased person are received. In northern Ohio, Lucas, Cuyahoga and Stark counties each had two of the 15 confirmed deaths, while Erie, Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties had one each. Elsewhere in the state, Franklin and Miami counties each had two deaths, and Gallia County along the Ohio River had one.

• Local counties:Here are “confirmed case” numbers for local counties — Butler 20, Miami 19 (2 deaths), Montgomery 14, Warren 10, Greene 3, Clark 2, Champaign 2, Clinton 2, Darke 1, Preble 0.

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