U.S. Study Shows That Billions Could Have Already Been Infected With COVID-19 Than Originally Reported. Coming Surges Will Infect Even More
A new American study involving researchers from Washington University in St. Louis, University of California, University of Washington, and the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University has found that far more people have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, with possible amounts even reaching 2.4 billion people compared what was reported officially!
The study team using a new mathematical model suggests that only as few as 1 in 5 COVID cases were counted globally.
The new mathematical models show that as few as one in every five instances of COVID-19 that occurred during the first 29 months of the pandemic are accounted for in the half billion cases officially recorded.
It should be noted that in the current ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many countries especially the so-called democratic ones with unscrupulous politicians tend to use variety of elaborate strategies to hide the true numbers of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths so that the public will never ever know the actual impact of the pandemic and to make these politicians and administrations look competent.
The U.S. CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the WHO or World Health Organization reported 6,190,349 deaths and 513,955,910 cases between January 1, 2020, and May 6, 2022. These figures have already elevated COVID-19 to the position of a top killer in some nations, including the United States, right behind heart disease and cancer.
However, mathematical models still show an overall underreporting of cases ranging from 1 in 1.2 to 1 in 4.7, according to study team. This underreporting results in worldwide pandemic estimates ranging from 600 million to 2.4 billion cases.
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal: Current Science.
Corresponding author, Dr Arni S.R. Srinivasa Rao, director of the Laboratory for Theory and Mathematical Modeling in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University told Thailand Medical News
, “We all acknowledge a huge impact on us as individuals, a nation, and the world, but the true number of cases is very likely much higher than we realize. We are trying to understand the extent of underreported cases.”
The study team comprising DrRao and Dr Steven G. Krantz, a mathematics professor at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and Dr David A. Swanson, an Edward A. Dickson Emeritus Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Riverside, said that the wide range of estimated cases produced by their models show the problems with the accuracy of reported numbers, which include data tampering, the inability to conduct accurate case tracking, and the lack of uniformity in how cases are reported.
Not surprising, a dearth of information and inconsistency in reporting cases has been a major problem with getting a true picture of the impact of the pandemic, Dr Rao says.
Typically, mathematical models use whatever information is available as well as relevant factors like global transmission rates and the number of individuals in the wor
ld, including the average population over the 29-month timeframe. That average, referred to as the effective population, better accounts for those who were born and died for any reason and so provides a more realistic number of the people out there who could potentially be infected, Dr Rao says.
Dr Rao further added, “You have to know the true burden on patients and their families, on hospitals and caregivers, on the economy and the government. More accurate numbers also help in assessing indirect implications like the underdiagnosis of potentially long-term neurological and mental disorders, cardiological risks and other conditions that are now known to be directly associated with infection.’
The study team that consists of mathematics experts had published similar model-based estimates for eight countries earlier in the pandemic in 2020, to provide more perspective on what they said then was clear underreporting. Their modeling predicted countries like Italy, despite their diligence in reporting, were likely capturing 1 in 4 actual cases while in China, where population numbers are tremendous, they calculated a huge range of potential underreporting, from 1 in 149 to 1 in 1,104 cases!
The study team also said that other contributors to underreporting include the reality that everyone who has gotten COVID-19 has not been tested. Also, a significant percentage of individuals, even vaccinated and boosted individuals, are getting infected more than once, and may only go to the doctor for PCR resting the first time and potentially use at-home tests or even no test for subsequent illnesses. For example, a recent report in JAMA on reinfection rates in Iceland during the first 74 days of the Omicron variant wave there indicates, based on PCR testing, that reinfection rates were at 10.9% with a high of 15.1% among those 18-29-year-olds for those who received two or more doses of a vaccine.
It was noted that the number of fully vaccinated individuals globally reached a reported 5.1 billion by the end of their 29-month study timeframe.
Interestingly it should also be noted that the U.S.CDC has been reporting downward trends in new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States from August to Mid-October 2022.
Thailand Medical News
would further like to add that in the coming weeks and months till around April 2023, before the anticipated new SARS-CoV-3 strain emerges, the world can expect to see more increasing COVID-19 surges but this time caused not by one or two new variants but rather a variety of new SARS-CoV-2 variants and sub-lineages that are more transmissible and more immune evasive with very short intervals between each surge. Furthermore, reinfections and co-infections are going to be vey common occurrences that will contribute to the more serious impact of Long COVID for those that survive these surges.
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