More than 75 percent of Santa Clara County’s COVID-19 deaths involved breathing complications and inflamed, fluid-filled lungs. More than half of decedents suffered from underlying health problems, such as high blood pressure. Forty percent had diabetes.
Statistics about the county’s first 139 confirmed COVID-19 casualties emerged earlier this week in a report that offers the Bay Area’s most detailed picture to date of who’s dying from the virus and how, exactly, it tore through their bodies. (There has been one additional COVID-19 death since the log was published).
The list unveiled before Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting notes the age, gender, race, home ZIP code and pre-existing health issues of everyone felled by the virus since the county’s first known COVID-19 death on Feb. 6.
As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surges past 2.2 million worldwide and 2,700 in the South Bay, it’s becoming clear that, although lungs are ground zero, the disease can ravage a whole host of organs—the heart, kidneys, gut and brain.
Aside from pneumonia and acute pulmonary distress, other common fatal complications in the scores of local cases included renal failure and heart attack. Other prevalent pre-existing conditions included congestive heart failure, kidney disease and clogged arteries.
Officials say 16 (just 12 percent) of the county’s COVID-19 decedents—all between 54 and 82 years old—had no apparent underlying health problems. A 37-year-old man with several health problems marked the youngest fatality. Three were over the age of 100.
The list affirmed another growing realization about the virus: that it’s not the great equalizer many initially said it was. Upward of 40 percent of the county’s COVID-19 deaths trace back to four ZIP codes in San Jose’s mostly Latino and Asian East Side.
Local health officials said they plan to make the death stats part of the county’s regularly updated coronavirus dashboard. To see the latest available data, click here.