A new study was published by JAMA this week that suggests states within America have been drastically under-reporting the amount of positive Covid-19 cases within them. While previously many healthcare experts discussed how a lack of testing resources/facilities could skew the data and just how severe the pandemic actually is in America, now they’re claiming that even the data that is recorded isn’t fully accurate.
The study itself was performed with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and it analyzed the routine blood samples of more than 16,000 individuals between the dates of March 23rd and May 12th. 90% of the samples came from individuals over the age of 18 and more than half were women. 10 different states provided samples for the study and each was tested for the presence of Covid-19 antibodies.
While the number of infections represented just a small portion of the population in each region that the samples were collected from, the number of positive results was much higher than expected. Specifically, the study claims that the number of infections was 6-24 times greater than what had been reported by the media for each specific region.
Now, based on the studies results, experts are claiming the positive amount of Covid-19 cases in America could be up to 10 times greater than what’s being reported on the news everyday. Dr. William Schaffner is an infectious disease expert who works at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He recently discussed with the media the reasons behind why this data is so skewed beyond just a lack of testing facilities.
“The new data was probably a consequence of asymptomatic transmission. This virus is getting out beyond us. If you translate it to today, as much as you think is out there, there’s more, a lot more. The house is on fire.”
Dr. Amesh Adalja, who’s been working on data collection at Johns Hopkins University since the beginning of this pandemic, agrees with Schaffner’s point that asymptomatic individuals are either overlooked as not being a serious threat, or just are unaware of the fact that they’re spreading the virus.
Adalja claimed that asymptomatic individuals are not getting tested and some are just going about their daily lives as if nothings wrong, which thus transmits the virus to other people who may not be lucky enough to be symptom-free.
“If you’re a person that’s sick with mild illness and you don’t want to wait in your car for eight hours at a drive-through to get a test result back in 10 days, then why would you?”
While Adalja understands the logic, it doesn’t trump the fact that the world is still in the middle of the worst public health crisis in decades, and hundreds of thousands of individuals are dying every single week as a result of these asymptomatic individuals who are continuously spreading the virus every time they step outside.
While the world continues to wait for a vaccine, it’s imperative that we listen to our healthcare providers and wear a mask in public, social distance, and wash our hands/bodies vigorously every day. Even if you feel 100% healthy yourself, you never know what type of damage you can unknowingly be doing if you’re actively going against these government regulations.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.