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Australia Concerned As People Dying At 'Incredibly High' Pace And It Can't Tell Why

Benzinga logo Benzinga 12/26/2022 Navdeep Yadav
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Australia's peak actuarial body has asked the government to urgently investigate the country's "incredibly high" 13% excess death rate in 2022. 

What Happened: An analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data by the Actuaries Institute showed that an additional 15,400 people died in the first eight months of the year in the country. 

Actuaries said that number includes around one-third of those having no link to COVID-19.

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13% was an "incredibly high number for mortality," and it was "not clear" what was driving the increase, said Karen Cutter, spokeswoman for the institute's Covid-19 Mortality Working Group.

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"Mortality doesn't normally vary by more than 1 to 2%, so 13% is way higher than normal levels," she said.

"I'm not aware [of anything comparable] in the recent past but I haven't gone back and looked [historically]. They talk about the flu season of 2017 being really bad, and the mortality there was 1% higher than normal. So it's well outside the range of normal," she said. 

This came after Australia's latest mortality data released in November showed that there had been 128,797 deaths from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, which was 17% higher than the historical average.

This story was originally published on Dec. 7, 2022.

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