Study says actual number of Covid-19 cases is far greater than thought

The number of people who have had Covid-19 is much greater than the official case count, according to data and a new analysis released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday. Depending on the region and the time period, the number of people infected was anywhere between 2 and 24 times the number of reported cases, the CDC team said.

“For most sites, it is likely that greater than 10 times more … infections occurred than the number of reported Covid-19 cases,” the team wrote.
In New York, the CDC estimates suggest that 642,000 people were infected by April 1 but at that point only 53,803 cases were officially reported. That means the number of infections could be at least 12 times higher than reported, the CDC said.
The CDC says the number of cases in South Florida, Connecticut and Minnesota was 6 to 11 times higher than the official count, the CDC said.
These numbers are likely conservative, according to the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The data used in the analysis was published on the CDC website.
The CDC has updated that data since the report was submitted to show two different testing periods starting in March and April.
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said last month that testing had likely missed 90% or so of cases.
The country remains far from a level that would give the population herd immunity — assuming that having been infected once provides immunity. Doctors are not sure if that is the case.
Hours after the CDC analysis was released, President Donald Trump warned Americans that the pandemic will “probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better.”
“Something I don’t like saying about things, but that’s the way it is,” he said Tuesday during the first White House coronavirus briefing in months.
A surge of cases has been ravaging states from coast to coast, putting reopening plans on hold, forcing officials to quickly expand testing and leaving hospitals scrambling with the influx of patients.
A total of 57,216 cases of Covid-19 and at least 970 virus-related deaths were reported in the US on Tuesday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. At least 3.89 million coronavirus cases have been identified and more than 141,800 people have died in the US.

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