A study of the number of people with antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in 10 metropolitan areas showed that the estimate of # COVID19 cases in 7 of the 10 studied areas was 10 times higher
A vigil for the nurses who died of COVID-19 was held in Washington, DC.
Photo: Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images
The number of people who have had COVID-19 is much higher than the official count of cases, according to the data and a new analysis released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Depending on the region and time period, the number of infected people was between 2 and 24 times the number of reported coronavirus cases, according to the CDC team that conducted the investigation.
“At most sites, more than 10 times more infections are likely to occur than the number of reported COVID-19 cases,” the team wrote.
New report: Based on a study of the number of people with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in 10 US metro areas in spring 2020, the estimated number of # COVID19 cases in 7 of the 10 areas studied was 10x higher than the number of reported cases. Read more: https://t.co/fz4OgRsHjI. pic.twitter.com/pwYazN2Iq1
– CDC (@CDCgov) July 21, 2020
In New York, CDC estimates suggest that 642,000 people were infected before April 1, but at the time, only 53,803 cases were officially reported. That means the number of infections could be at least 12 times greater than reported, the CDC reported.
The CDC says the number of cases in southern Florida, Connecticut and Minnesota was 6 to 11 times greater than the official count.
These numbers are likely conservative, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The CDC has updated that data since the report was made to show two different trial periods beginning in March and April.
The country remains far from a level that would grant immunity to the population herd, assuming that being infected once provides immunity. Doctors are not sure if that is the case.