Belgium: Mortality since 1900

Belgium: Monthly mortality since 1900 (Bustos Sierra)

In terms of covid deaths per population size, Belgium is the hardest hit country in the world. Nevertheless, Belgium’s peak monthly mortality in April 2020 was equal to the 1989 seasonal flu wave and lower than the 1951, 1960 and 1970 flu waves (see chart above).

This is despite the fact that the Belgian population is significantly older today than during these earlier flu waves: about 50% of Belgian covid deaths occurred in nursing homes, about 95% were older than 65 years, and the median age of Belgian covid deaths was about 86 years.

However, Belgian antibody seroprevalence until June was only about 7% at the national level and 12% in Brussels. International studies indicate a significant slow-down of the epidemic once an antibody level of 20 to 30% is reached. Higher values of up to 60% have only been reached in some densely populated areas due to a so-called epidemic overshoot.


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