LONDON, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Experts point to several reasons why the rate of COVID patients in hospital is higher in North America than in most other parts of the world, the BBC has reported.
Professor David Larsen, an epidemiologist and global health expert at Syracuse University in New York, told the BBC that the U.S. population is markedly different from that of both Europe and South Africa.
"We have an older population than South Africa. That's a big one," he said, adding that the U.S. population has an age structure similar to Europe but is less healthy than in Europe.
Dr Larsen noted that rates of hypertension and obesity -- both of which are comorbidities that increase the risk of COVID -- are higher in the United States than in most other countries.
Dr. Mark Cameron, an associate professor in the department of population and quantitative health sciences at Case Western University in Ohio, told the BBC that he believes the United States is suffering from "a perfect storm" of COVID-19 --comorbidities, uneven access to healthcare and hostility to vaccines, masks, and other preventative measures.
"When all of that 'perfect storm' nature of vulnerabilities that are unique to the U.S. combine, you've got an outbreak of the virus that can quickly lead from increased cases to increased hospitalizations, which tax the local hospitals and health community." ■