As the country tops 15.5 million COVID-19 cases, the most in the world, the CDC is estimating that the actual number could be between two and seven times between that, based on surveys and models.
Between Feb. 27 and Sept. 30, there were nearly 7 million laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infections, but when adjusted for potential false-negative test results, incomplete reporting of cases and asymptomatic or mildly ill individuals who never got tested, they said there may have actually been approximately 53 million infections.
That number represents 13 percent of total infections according to researchers in a paper published in the journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases late last month.
“The total estimated number of infections is likely two to seven times greater than reported cases,” Aron Hall, the co-lead of the CDC’s epidemiology task force, said during a virtual hearing over Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine. “Though less than 10 percent of population in most states had evidence of previous infection through September.”
Things could get worse before they get better, according to health officials, as spikes in new cases are expected following Thanksgiving and entering the holiday season and New Year's Day.
“The problem is that you’re going to see the full brunt of the travel and family gatherings with friends from Thanksgiving, which is going to come right up against the beginning of Christmas and Hannukah,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said recently. “So you might not see the full results until about two and a half weeks from the time of the event.”
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