Coronavirus US: Why pandemic could be DEADLIER than first believed | Science | News

University of California, Berkeley researchers used data on the number of “excess” deaths in Italy to estimate the likely fatality rate in the country and in New York. The study holds that Italy’s fatality rate of 0.5 percent is equal to the “conservative” estimate for New York City.

They also anticipate overall that the virus may kill up to 0.85 percent of those infected in Italy.

It would make the fatality rate as much as eight times higher than the flu’s 0.1 percent fatality rate, and far higher than the 0.1-0.2 percent rate most models have suggested for coronavirus.

Calculations are based on the assumption that excess deaths this year are largely caused by COVID-19, regardless of official classification.

The lead author of the study added that catching COVID-19 doubles your chance of dying this year.

This is including healthier and younger people who may contract the virus.

Their models suggest that about a quarter of people in New York City are infected, a figure closely aligned with the 21 percent found by antibody testing conducted by the state.

It is important to note that the study has not been peer reviewed, but has been posted in a preprint form online.

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It comes as antibody testing becomes common in the US, Italy, the UK and many other nations across the globe.

They’re used in an effort to get a more accurate measure of the coronavirus infection rate and, as a result, the fatality rate.

The FDA-approved coronavirus antibody test is about 95 percent accurate, but others being used by state and local governments aren’t guaranteed to provide clear results.

Results from early antibody testing of 7,500 people in New York state found that a quarter of them had already been infected with coronavirus.

But until this form of testing, which reveals who has developed immune cells to the infection, is more reliable and widespread, the UC Berkeley team’s estimates illustrate just how deadly the pandemic can be.

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As of Monday, The United States has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, with 1,007,514.

Of that number, 56,624 have died after contracting the virus.

The death toll in the US equals a fatality rate of around 5.7 percent.

Italy’s crude fatality rate, meaning raw numbers of cases and deaths unadjusted, is at 14,1 percent.

These figures may be lower than reality, as testing shortages, asymptomatic patients and delays in data collections along with the excess deaths unattributed to COVID-19 cast doubt on official data.

UC Berkley holds that these fatality rates are massively inaccurate, because of inadequate testing, and therefore it is likely that the fatality rates are lower because of higher infections.

This is supported by a recent Imperial College of London study, which estimated the global case-fatality rate to be about 1.4 percent.

That rate fell to 0.66 once the researchers factored in the estimated number of undiagnosed cases.

The study illustrates the necessity of accurate testing and contact tracing, in order to clearly understand the scale of the pandemic.


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