(HealthDay)—Actual COVID-19 infection rates in many areas of the United States are more than 10 times higher than reported rates, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study suggests.
That difference was highest in Missouri. As of April 26, about 2.6 percent of people (6,800) in the state were reported to have been infected, but CDC data show the actual number was about 24 times higher, at nearly 162,000, according to The New York Times. As of April 1, New York City had reported 53,800 cases, but the actual number of infections was 12 times higher, at nearly 642,000, the CDC study found.
"This study underscores that there are probably a lot of people infected without knowing it, likely because they have mild or asymptomatic infection," study leader Fiona Havers, M.D., told The Times. "But those people could still spread it to others."
Even in areas hard hit by COVID-19, most people have not been infected, noted Scott Hensley, Ph.D., a viral immunologist at the University of Pennsylvania who was not involved in the study. "Many of us are sitting ducks who are still susceptible to second waves," he told The Times.
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