20% of NYC residents had COVID-19 by early March, research

New York Metropolis had a excessive fee of an infection with the brand new coronavirus lengthy earlier than its first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on March 1, researchers report.

By that date, greater than 1.7 million folks within the metropolis — 20% of the inhabitants — had already been contaminated, and the COVID-19 demise fee was near 1%, or 10 instances deadlier than the flu.

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To reach at that conclusion, the researchers analyzed practically 10,700 plasma samples taken between Feb. 9 and July 5, 2020. The samples have been checked for the presence of antibodies to previous infections of COVID-19, somewhat than the presence of the virus.

There was little or no testing capability in New York Metropolis firstly of its outbreak in early March, the researchers famous.

“We now know there have been many asymptomatic and mild-to-moderate circumstances that seemingly went undetected,” stated senior research creator Dr. Emilia Mia Sordillo, an attending doctor in infectious illnesses on the Icahn College of Medication and the Mount Sinai Well being System in New York Metropolis.

“On this research, we aimed to know the dynamics of an infection within the normal inhabitants and in folks searching for pressing care,” Sordillo stated in a Mount Sinai information launch.

Two teams of plasma samples have been examined. The primary group included greater than 4,100 samples from sufferers seen in Mount Sinai’s emergency departments and from sufferers that have been admitted to the hospital for pressing care, and was meant to detect infections in folks with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 because the New York Metropolis outbreak progressed.

The second group included practically 6,600 samples from sufferers seen at common workplace/remedy visits, and was seen as reflecting an infection charges within the normal inhabitants within the metropolis.

The research was printed this week within the journal Nature.

“We present that the an infection fee was comparatively excessive through the first wave in New York, however is much from seroprevalence which may point out group immunity (herd immunity),” stated research corresponding creator Florian Krammer. He is professor in vaccinology at Icahn.

“Understanding the detailed dynamics of the seroprevalence proven on this research is necessary for modeling seroprevalence elsewhere within the nation,” Krammer added.

Extra data

The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention has extra on COVID-19.

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