(Washington) The actual number of people infected with the novel coronavirus in the United States was two to 13 times the official number of cases in spring, according to data from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) released Tuesday, which confirms the pandemic is largely fueled by people without symptoms.
France Media Agency
The CDC tested blood from blood banks in 10 areas of the United States between March and June for antibodies to SARS -CoV-2, signs that the person has come into contact with the virus before, even though they have not become ill.
They found that between 1 and 5.8% of the inhabitants of these regions had been infected in this period, with the exception of New York City, where the prevalence reached 23, 2% of the population as of May 6, or one in four New Yorkers.
Compared to the official number of cases recorded on those dates, the actual number of infections was twice as high in Utah, but ten times as high in South Florida at the end of April and up to 13 times in the more rural state of Missouri in late May.
Even in New York, the epicenter of the US epidemic in the spring, there were ten times more people infected than the official number of cases.
These serological studies (from a blood test) are carried out in many countries and allow researchers and health authorities to know the progress of the virus in the population, regardless of the availability of blood tests. screening (in the nose or throat) that tells people if they are infected at the time of the test.
In the spring in the United States, there was a shortage of testing, which has contributed to underestimating virus circulation and mortality, and experts say the country is still not testing enough.
The conclusion is twofold: on the one hand, hundreds of thousands of Americans have the coronavirus without knowing it and are helping to spread it; On the other hand, with generally around 5% of the population infected, the country was still far from the herd immunity threshold at the end of spring.
The next wave of CDC analysis is likely to see a surge in infections for Florida and other parts of the country that have been experiencing an epidemic since June.