According to early antibody test results out of New York City, it is estimated that one in five New Yorkers have had the China-originated novel coronavirus, thus significantly dropping the reported fatality rate of the virus.
“More than 21% of the New York City residents given coronavirus antibody tests earlier this week tested positive, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday,” a report from MarketWatch outlined Wednesday.
“Monday marked the start of a statewide initiative to test 3,000 New Yorkers for the presence of antibodies, which are made in response to viral infections,” the report added. “The preliminary results mean that one in five of the city residents tested have had coronavirus and developed the antibodies to fight it. Across the state, 13.9% of the individuals tested were positive for antibodies, Cuomo told reporters at a daily news briefing.”
As noted by The New York Times, the eyeopening testing results suggest that as many as 2.7 million New Yorkers have been infected with coronavirus without necessarily knowing so.
“The testing also can tell you the infection rate in the population — where it’s higher, where it’s lower — to inform you on a reopening strategy,” Gov. Cuomo said Wednesday during a press conference. “Then when you start reopening, you can watch that infection rate to see if it’s going up, and if it’s going up, slow down.”
When antibody testing was recently conducted in California, it was also found that the death rate for COVID-19 appears to be significantly lower than reported.
“Highly anticipated antibody testing results out of Santa Clara County in California headed by a Stanford University professor were released on Friday, showing that the estimated number of positive novel coronavirus cases is likely 50-80 times higher than reported, thus significantly dropping the estimated fatality rate,” The Daily Wire reported last week. “The study, the first large-scale community antibody testing in the nation and led by Dr. Eran Bendavid, the associate professor of medicine at Stanford University, found that 2.5 to 4.2% of the 3,330 subjects tested were found to have COVID-19 antibodies.”
“These prevalence estimates represent a range between 48,000 and 81,000 people infected in Santa Clara County by early April, 50-85-fold more than the number of confirmed cases,” the study’s abstract said.
“The population prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in Santa Clara County implies that the infection is much more widespread than indicated by the number of confirmed cases,” according to the researchers. If the number of the recovered cases are similarly undercounted across the nation, the fatality rate would accordingly be overstated.
Antibody testing has been noted by leaders on the White House coronavirus task force as a tool in getting Americans back to work. Last week, President Donald Trump released guidance for states to meet as they open their economies back up in phases.
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