A group of researchers from California found that the number of cases of coronavirus in only one district may 85 times higher than previous figures. According to them, these data can help better estimate the true mortality from the virus. This writes Fox News.
In April, researchers from Stanford University have tested 3330 adults and children in the County of Santa Clara, who were recruited through advertising on Facebook, for the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, and found that the prevalence of COVID-19 among the population in Santa Clara ranged from 2.49% to 4.16%.
“The most important consequence of these findings is that the number of infections is much higher than the reported number of cases, wrote the researchers. Our data indicate that by 1 April (three days before the end of the study) in the County of Santa Clara have been infected from 48 000 to 81 000 people. The number of confirmed positive cases in the district on April 1 amounted to 956 that 50-85 times lower than the number of cases specified in the study”.
Asymptomatic carriers of the coronavirus has long been a problem for the health and others who want to understand how common the virus. The researchers also concluded that the discovery not previously registered cases of coronavirus can also cause the “best estimate of mortality from COVID-19”.
“Many estimates of the mortality rate uses the ratio of deaths to cases, wrote the researchers. Our study suggests that the mortality rate should be much lower”.
The scientists noted that the study had several limitations, including the fact that the participants had to have access to Facebook and the car to visit the centre to conduct tests. These factors have led to excessive flow of white women aged 19 to 64 years and the small number of Hispanics and Asians.
However, after the adjustment of the researchers said that the results can be applied to other districts.
“Although our study was limited to the County of Santa Clara, it demonstrates the possibility of conducting similar surveys of samples of the population now and in the future, to shape our understanding of the progression of the pandemic and to monitor the mortality rate from the virus over time,” said the researchers.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former Commissioner of the Department for supervision over food and drug administration (FDA) agreed that the results of the study probably correspond to how the overall picture of infection in the United States.
“This is probably consistent with what might look like the General national exhibition — he wrote in Twitter. County of Santa Clara was the hot spot of the spread of coronavirus, and I expect that the number of infected will be higher.”
Gottlieb wrote that other hot spots such as new York, where registered almost 250,000 cases of infection, there are data “suggesting that the infection rate may be much higher.”
“We are also likely to find higher levels of infection in other places, — he wrote. But while the data suggests that at the national level, the total number of infected is still small.”
Because some areas of the County want to re-open their borders and weaker isolation mode, there is a heightened interest to widespread testing for antibodies that can identify those who already had COVID-19.
Antibody test, which is mostly performed using a blood sample, but can also be performed using saliva aimed at the detection of the two sets of antibodies called IgM and IgG. Dr. Robert Segal, co-founder LabFinder.com announced that a new coronavirus, the body produces antibodies within 1-14 days.
“Those who have a positive test result on the immune system, theoretically, can safely return to work, but they should be very careful, since medical professionals are still studying the virus, said Segal. — Mankind has not developed immunity to this virus, there is a possibility of re-infection. We can’t be sure now.”
However, as with any test, accuracy remains a problem. Serological test Premier Biotech, which was used in the study County of Santa Clara, have not yet been approved by the FDA.