An estimated 1.7 million New Yorkers had COVID-19 – six times the official figure, a study published Tuesday found.
Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai also found that the coronavirus was circulating across five counties “long before” the first case was recorded, the study was published in the journal Nature.
Dr Emilia Mia Sordillo, a participating doctor in infectious diseases at the medical school and senior author of the article, said in a newsletter: “We now know there are many cases. Symptomatic and mild to moderate may go undetected. “In this study, we aim to investigate the dynamics of infection in the general population and in those seeking urgent care.”
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Researchers used more than 10,000 plasma samples taken between early February and July during routine physical exams and admission to COVID-19 to draw conclusions.
Two groups of patients were used for the study. The first group of 4,101 plasma samples were taken during visits and hospital admissions, and acted as the active control group to monitor COVID-19 infections as pandemic progression in the Big Apple.
The second data set included 6,509 plasma samples taken in obstetrics, gynecology, labor and childbirth examinations, cancer-related exams, selective surgical and transplant hospital admissions, and doctor examinations. Regularly and periodically other, Mount Sinai said.
The researchers explained that these samples may be more similar to the general population because the purpose of these scheduled visits is not associated with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, the hospital said. said the institute. “The routine care group has a more balanced age distribution, closer to the adult population in general”.
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The researchers found that plasma containing COVID-19 antibodies was detected “as early as mid-February” – several weeks before the first official cases were reported in the city – and “at a little over 20% in both groups after the epidemic subsided at the end of May, ”the study found.
Using those numbers, the scientists extrapolate that 20% of New Yorkers are likely to have been infected.
Furthermore, the scientists found that antibody levels “stabilized” from May to July, suggesting that immunity may last for at least a few months but does not increase herd immunity. .
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