6.22.20 | STAT News
By Prabhavathi Fernandes and Steve Brozak
SARS-CoV-2, a coronavirus that humans have never before encountered, is causing hundreds of thousands of deaths around the globe. The emergence of new infectious agents is tragically part of the cycle of infectious disease. What is not part of that cycle are the many Covid-19-related deaths that occur because of our systemic failure to employ rapid diagnostic tools, something that health systems have long neglected — to our peril.
Many deaths from Covid-19 mirror deaths from sepsis, which are also largely preventable with better diagnostic tools. Sepsis, the immune system’s out-of-control response to infection, often leads to organ failure and death. In the United States alone, sepsis is responsible for more than 250,000 deaths a year3 and accounts for 1 in 3 hospital-based deaths4. Globally, sepsis kills 6 million people a year5, and leaves many survivors with lingering physical and mental health issues.
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