Something "abnormal" going on

A recent CDC report is showing some odd data. Is it Delta? Something else?

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What do people die of? Well the CDC has that covered. They itemize the “underlying cause of death” into codes known as ICD-10 codes. This is actually a WHO standardization adopted here in the U.S. to categorize the causes of death. These are also used for insurance reimbursement. (There are entire professions built around this codifying.)

Every so often the CDC puts out a dataset entitled: “Weekly Provisional Counts of Deaths by State and Select Causes” They typically have only published data for 2020-2021 but if you search hard enough you can get it back to 2014. The select causes are as follows:

  • Alzheimer disease (G30)

  • COVID-19 (U071, Multiple Cause of Death)

  • COVID-19 (U071, Underlying Cause of Death)

  • Cerebrovascular diseases (I60-I69)

  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases (J40-J47)

  • Diabetes mellitus (E10-E14)

  • Diseases of heart (I00-I09,I11,I13,I20-I51)

  • Influenza J09-J18

  • Malignant neoplasms (C00-C97)

  • Natural Cause Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (N00-N07,N17-N19,N25-N27)

  • Other diseases of respiratory system (J00-J06,J30-J39,J67,J70-J98) Septicemia (A40-A41)

  • Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (R00-R99)

It’s this last one that I’m interested in. Way back in May 2020 I did some investigating into signs that COVID might have been here previously.

In May, we used that data to show that the rise in deaths attributed to this category (R00-R99) had risen considerably.

Now, once again, we are seeing a MASSIVE rise in this classification for 2021:

This category has been used as kind of a catch all for unknown deaths or deaths which haven’t been categorized but I have NEVER seen the numbers for those months. Here are all the codes it could be:

Is there something else happening that we don’t see? Thoughts?