Texas Air National Guard Member Dies of COVID-19


The U.S. military has lost a ninth member to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest death was reported Wednesday in the Defense Department's summary of coronavirus cases and deaths. A spokesman for the National Guard Bureau said the member served in the Texas Air National Guard, but the airman has not yet been identified.

The military services have recorded 58,968 cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak began, including 22,190 in the Army; 7,209 in the Marine Corps; 12,749 in the Navy; 9,451 in the Air Force; and 6,959 in the National Guard.

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The death this week is the first of a U.S. service member in more than a month. Sgt. 1st Class Mike Markins, 48, a 20-year member of the Army Reserve, died Sept. 29 in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.

With nine deaths, the case fatality rate -- the number of deaths per coronavirus cases -- among U.S. service members is .015, significantly lower than the national rate of 2.46. DoD officials have attributed the extremely low death rates in the military to service members' relative youth and fitness; the virus tends to be more virulent in older Americans and those with preexisting health conditions.

As with the rest of the country, the military services are seeing a third surge of new cases, approaching peaks seen in late July. As of Oct. 30, the DoD was seeing nearly 1,000 new cases a day, although those figures also include civilian employees, defense contractors and military family members.

To date, more than 86,000 persons affiliated with the DoD have contracted the coronavirus and 111 have died. According to the DoD, 56,885 have recovered.

The United States has the highest number of recorded COVID-19 cases in the world, nearly 9.5 million cases since the outbreak began, and the most deaths: 233,265 as of Wednesday.

Worldwide, nearly 47 million people have tested positive, and 1.2 million have died.

This story will be updated.

-- Patricia Kime can be reached at Patricia.Kime@Monster.com. Follow her on Twitter @patriciakime.

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