CDC: 20 Million Americans Have Likely Had COVID-19; That’s 10 Times The Number of Confirmed Cases
There have been more than 20 million COVID-19 cases in the United States, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found. Currently, there are approximately 2.4 million confirmed cases nationwide of the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University.
So this means that the number of infections could actually be ten times greater than it’s currently reported. A majority of these cases are believed to be from asymptomatic carriers of the disease.
In a nation of approximately 331 million people, that would mean that 6% of Americans have been infected by COVID-19. A majority of the population, however, would still be susceptible to the virus.
The CDC’s updated estimate is based on a study of blood samples from across the country. A majority of the infections were probably not caught early on when testing (and supplies) were limited.
So how accurate is this new survey? Independent experts say that the study's methodology plays a role.
Dr. Thomas Tsai, a researcher at Harvard University tells ABC News that the updated estimates of 20 million cases sound reasonable, but notes that “it’s hard to interpret this just from a single number and without the context for it.”
Dr. Tsai says that context includes learning which locations were sampled and whether it was a truly random survey.
Meanwhile, as cases of the virus continue to flare up in nearly half of the 50 states, there's growing concern that asymptomatic carriers of the disease (who are under the age of 35) are spreading the virus in hot spots such as Florida and Texas.
Testing remains a key component of virus tracking as well. Johns Hopkins University estimates estimated that the U.S. is testing about 500,000 patients per day.
Experts, however, say that country should be testing roughly 1 million to 3 million people a day to prevent additional flareups. ABC News reports that federal officials hope to be able to run 20-40 million tests per month beginning this fall.