Vigorous antibody testing in New York and elsewhere has better informed experts on the mortality rates, indicating 1 million or more Americans could still die from the disease if no vaccine is discovered.
Jeffrey Shaman, a Columbia University epidemiologist, has helped develop a model of the coronavirus spread that estimates only 1 in 12 infections in the U.S. have been documented in official counts, The Washington Post reported. If so, that would lead to an infection rate of 0.6%. The figure roughly matches what has been seen in New York City.
And if there is no vaccine and people do not follow aggressive actions to limit the spread of the virus, experts have estimated that somewhere between 40-70% of the population will likely become infected during the next couple of years, the newspaper said in a story posted Tuesday.
It could lead to the U.S. potentially experiencing 1 million deaths if just half the population is infected, according to Shaman.
“Do the math!” he said.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted figures for New York City indicate that 25% of the population of 8.8 million has already been infected with the virus.
And he said the mortality rate in his state appears to be 0.5%.
Meanwhile, Quest Diagnostics on Tuesday said people can skip a doctor's visit and order a coronavirus antibody test online, making the clinical lab the first in the world to offer "at-home" antibody testing, MSN Now reported.
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