US Covid cases likely to be 30 times higher than official numbers

A survey of “prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and use of COVID-19 antiviral treatments during the BA.2/BA.2.12.1 outbreak, New York City” suggests that the true burden of infection in the United States is 30 times higher than in government data.

“It would appear that the official case count underestimates the true burden of infection by about 30 times, which is a huge surprise,” said Denis Nash, study author and eminent professor of epidemiology at the City University of New York School of Public Health.

“It is very worrying. To me, that means our ability to really understand and get ahead of the virus is undermined,” Nash said.

During the first covid surge, the estimated numbers were 3-4 times higher than the official numbers.

“We always knew there were undercounts. We didn’t always realize how underappreciated they were,” Dr. Nash said.

This significant undercount could be because most people are now testing at home and others are not getting tested at all.

Over the past few months, the focus has been on getting back to what is known as “normal”, and the focus has mainly shifted to improving economies that have been hit hard due to first of the covid-19 pandemic, and now of the Russia-Ukraine war.

The focus on advisories and precautions has diminished and people are being told not to worry as the infection is mild. And that may be a reason for an increase in cases, as untested or asymptomatic people also carry the virus.

[ With inputs from agencies]


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Post expires at 1:11pm on Sunday June 12th, 2022