The number of deaths from COVID-19 are reported daily by Guilford County, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, people die from all kinds of causes that are not subject to daily press releases. The organizations report deaths differently and over different time periods, but with so much concern about death from one disease, it seems worthwhile to make some comparisons with deaths from other diseases, even though the time periods don’t exactly match.

On Monday, April 20, North Carolina had had a total of 179 deaths attributed to COVID-19 since March 25, when the first death was reported, which is a little less than a month.

According to reports from the CDC, in 2017, the last year for which figures are available, in an average month in North Carolina about 1,600 people died from cancer, 1,500 people died from heart disease, 498 people died from accidents, 461 people died from chronic lower respiratory disease and 424 people died from stroke.   Those were the top five causes of death in North Carolina in 2017 according to the CDC.

Also in an average month, about 200 people died from drug overdose and the average number of deaths per month in 2017 from flu/pneumonia was 173, according to the CDC.

In Guilford County, the average number of deaths per month during 2019 from all causes was about 834, according to figures from the Guilford County Register of Deeds office.

From April 1 through April 17, 2020, in Guilford County there have been 491 deaths reported. From March 31 through April 20, the number of deaths attributed to coronavirus in Guilford County was 13.

In January 2020 there were 915 deaths, in February 900 deaths and in March 764 deaths reported in Guilford County according to the Register of Deeds office.

Adding those up through April 17, 2020, in Guilford County 3,070 deaths have been reported in Guilford County. Of those deaths 13 or 0.4 percent have died from COVID-19.