CDC Study: Coronavirus Infection Numbers May Be up to 24 Times Higher Than Reported
NEWS PROVIDED BY ⮕ JUL 21, 2020, 05:54 ET
ST. LOUIS, July 22, 2020 /MateFit/ -- THE REAL NUMBER OF coronavirus cases is much higher than the recorded infections, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.
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The research, published Tuesday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, looked at antibodies in blood samples taken from 10 geographic regions. Researchers found a range from six to 24 times the number of documented cases, but most sites likely have 10 times more infections than reported, according to the study.
"The findings may reflect the number of persons who had mild or no illness or who did not seek medical care or undergo testing but who still may have contributed to ongoing virus transmission in the population," the study said.
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A man rides his skate in Venice beach, California, on July 14, 2020. - California's Governor Gavin Newsom announced a significant rollback of the state's reopening plan on July 13, 2020 as coronavirus cases soared across America's richest and most populous state. (Photo by Apu GOMES / AFP) (Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)
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Further data was published Tuesday on CDC's website, reflecting that New York City was the area with the highest percentage of the population with antibodies as of early May at roughly 23%.
Officials in the U.S. report more than 3.85 million cases of the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University. Even if the real number is ten times that, it still is not near what is needed for herd immunity, which would need to see 60-70% of the population infected.
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The study echoes comments from CDC Director Robert Redfield last month, when he estimated that the country actually had more than 20 million infections at the time.
"A significant majority of the American public – probably greater than 90% of the American public ... remains susceptible," Redfield said in June.
It is also unclear what level of protection antibodies give people and how long that protection could last.
The new research said that because people often don't know they are infected with the virus, "the public should continue to take steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as wearing cloth face coverings when outside the home, remaining 6 feet apart from other people, washing hands frequently, and staying home when sick."