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Initial infection rate in US 80 times greater than reported: study

Jun 24, 2020 08:20 IST

The number of early Covid-19 cases in the US may have been more than 80 times greater, and likely doubled nearly twice as fast as originally believed, according to a study which says the under-counting may have been due to testing issues, and asymptomatic individuals. In the study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, scientists estimated the detection rate of symptomatic Covid-19 cases using the CDC's influenza-like illnesses (ILI) surveillance data over a three week period in March 2020. According to the study, the size of the observed surge of excess influenza-like illnesses corresponds to more than 8.7 million new cases during the last three weeks of March, compared to the roughly 1,00,000 cases that were officially reported during the same time period.