US likely has 24 million cases of coronavirus according to CDC director
The number of Americans infected with coronavirus is estimated to be about 10 times higher than the currently detected number of 2.4 million confirmed cases, according to one of the country’s top disease experts.
Dr Robert Redfield, director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, told reporters yesterday: “Our best estimate right now is that for every case that’s reported, there actually are 10 other infections.”
The estimate made by Dr Redfield is based on blood samples from across the US looking for antibodies to COVID-19, reports The Washington Post.
For every confirmed case of coronavirus detected, testing also found 10 or more people had antibodies to the virus, he said.
The methodology pushes the total number of cases to at least 24 million.
Dr Redfield said the surge is being pushed by young people in the south and west of the US and said most of the broader testing is being done on people under the age of 50. He said in the past he didn’t think those coronavirus infections were being diagnosed.
He added the vast majority – 92 to 95 per cent – of US residents were still vulnerable to catching coronavirus.
The US has diagnosed more than 2.49 million people with having coronavirus and more than 124,000 people have died.
While the US made gains in slowing its death toll and controlling the acceleration of the spread of the virus throughout May and June, the situation is deteriorating as the numbers of infections have begun to rise again in more than half the states.
Many states have seen spikes in death tolls and record numbers of new cases on consecutive days.
While New York, the previous epicentre of the virus in the US, has seen a slowing of its peak daily death toll, the virus is accelerating at a record pace in Florida, California, Texas and Arizona.
In those states, record numbers of new cases are being reported every day.
On Thursday, three different states, Alabama, Nevada and Missouri, also reported new record high numbers for new cases. Seven other states, Arizona, California, Florida, Missouri, Mississippi, Nevada and South Carolina, reached new peaks in cases after consecutive days of growth.
The US reported its highest single day of new cases of the virus the previous day, when 38,173 new cases were reported across the country.
The shocking figure broke the previous record set back in April, during the first outbreak of the epidemic.