A group of American researchers found that the number of people infected with coronavirus can be tens of times more than recorded by official statistics. The study in the version of a preprint (draft) is published on the resource medRxiv, ONA reports.
Scientists conducted an experiment in Santa Clara County in Northern California, which in the United States was one of the first to record the spread of infection. Researchers tested 3.3 thousand volunteers from among local residents for the presence of antibodies to coronavirus in order to assess how many people could have contracted it before.
According to the authors of the experiment, 2.5% – 4.2% of the district population may have antibodies to coronavirus, which indicates that they could carry COVID-19. “These prevalence estimates reflect a range from 48,000 to 81,000 people infected in Santa Clara County by early April, which exceeds the number of confirmed cases from 50 to 85 times,” the researchers point out.
One of the authors of the publication, Stanford University professor Jay Bhattacharya said in an interview CNN that this study may also provide a more realistic picture of mortality from COVID-19.
According to him, if there are really much more infected with coronavirus than is recorded by official statistics, then the mortality rate from COVID-19 may be proportionally lower than what is now assumed.
The World Health Organization on March 11 announced an outbreak of a new coronavirus infection COVID-19 with a pandemic. According to the latest data, more than two million people were infected, about 140 thousand died. By this time, 36.7 thousand people had died from coronavirus-related complications in the United States, more than 700 thousand cases of infection have been confirmed.