WASHINGTON (uk) – The US government experts believe more than 20 million Americans could have contracted the coronavirus, 10 times more than official counts. This indicates that many people without symptoms have or have had the disease, said senior administration officials.
The data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is based on serology testing used to determine the presence of antibodies that show whether a person has had the infection, the officials said.
The officials told media persons on Wednesday night that the estimate was based on the number of known cases, which are between 2.3 million and 2.4 million, multiplied by the average rate of antibodies detected in the serology tests, an average of 10 to 1.
“If you multiply the cases by that ratio, that’s where you get that 20 million figure,” said one official.
If true, the estimate would suggest the percentage of deaths in the country from the infection is lower than thought. More than 120,000 Americans have died from the disease.
The estimate comes in the backdrop of many new cases showing up in young people who do not exhibit symptoms and may not know they have it.
Officials said young people with no symptoms, but who are in regular contact with vulnerable populations, should proactively get tested to make sure they do not spread it.
“We have heard from Florida and Texas that roughly half of the new cases that are reporting are people under the age of 35, and many of them are asymptomatic,” said an official.
The CDC has sent 40 response teams to help deal with the outbreaks, they said.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field