Are US COVID Infections “More Common” Than Thought?
March 17, 2021 – According to a new study, another 16 million Americans were infected with COVID-19 in the first 9 months of 2020, more than previously reported.
The researchers evaluated 61,910 adults who reported feeling well when they applied for life insurance. 4094, or 6.6%, were positive coronavirus antibody test, that is, they were previously infected with the virus.
The finding “would double the number of people infected with COVID-19 compared to the number of clinically diagnosed cases,” Dr. Robert L. Stout, scientific director of Lenexa (KS) Clinical Reference Laboratory, Inc., told Medscape. .
“From September onwards pandemic that was double the number of cases reported, “Stout added.” It’s not like that measles, where it is easily identified. They simply believe that everything is fine for the asymptomatic patient and continue to do their usual activities. Some practices recommend CDC guidelines in public places, while others do not. “
The research letter was published online on March 16th JAMA open network.
After evaluating the national sample in September, the researchers used these data to calculate the number of all undiagnosed U.S. cases based on census data.
Comparison between sex, age and states
The indirect study included age, sex, residence status, and antibody status. The average age of the people in the study was 39 years. Of the 4,094 positive cases, 54% were male.
The infection rate was slightly higher among women, at 6.9%, and 6.4% among men.
The lowest infection rate was 2.8% among asymptomatic people over 70 years of age. On the other hand, the youngest cohort under the age of 30 had the highest rate, at 9.8%.
Infection rates vary greatly from state to state, ”said Stout and Steven Rigatti, MD, heads of MassMutual.
The highest rate in September was 14.4% in New York, followed by 12% in Louisiana and 10% in Nevada. The states with the lowest rates were 1.5% in Oregon, 0.6% in Maine and 0% in Alaska.
Implications and skepticism
“According to our estimates, more than double the number of infections reported in cases of disease control and prevention centers,” the researchers say, “suggests a more widespread pandemic.”
Potential limitations of the study include self-reporting of health (reported that all people feel well) and evaluation of blood tests presented and a random sample of the entire population.
“Overall, it is difficult to interpret the findings because the research sample was a sample of the comfort of people who require life insurance,” Dr. Neeraj Sood told Medscape.
The numbers can also be higher. “People who apply for life insurance are more educated, richer, and probably more risk-averse. So the findings in this study are not generalized to the general population and probably lower the true seroprevalence limit for the general population,” he said. Sood, director of the COVID initiative at Schaeffer University in Southern California, Los Angeles.
He was the lead author of Sood a JAMAresearch letter published in May to assess the rate of infection in adults in Los Angeles County.