U.S. records 100 million Covid cases, but more than 200 million Americans have probably had it

The U.S. recorded more than 100 million people officially diagnosed and reporting Covid-19 cases this week, but the actual number of Americans who have contracted the virus since the pandemic began is likely more than double that number. ..

Covid-19 has easily infected more than 200 million people in the United States alone since the pandemic began. The virus continues to evolve into more contagious variants that evade immunity from vaccination and previous infections, making transmission very difficult to control as we enter his fourth year of the pandemic. increase.

The United States officially had more than 100 million cases as of Tuesday, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is just under a third of the total population. Scientists say the data are not perfect and are likely to be significantly undercounted. Count people who have tested positive more than once or who have been infected with Covid multiple times, but not the number of Covid patients who are asymptomatic and never tested at home, tested or reported. Is not.

Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the CDC under Obama, estimates that the reported data reflect less than half of the true total.

“There are at least 200 million people infected in the United States, so this is just a fraction of that,” Frieden said. It’s a question of whether it can be done, and the jury is still very much at a loss about it.

Last spring, the CDC estimated that by February 2022, nearly 187 million people in the United States had had at least one Covid infection. This is more than double his number of officially reported cases at the time. This estimate is based on a survey of commercial lab data that found that about 58% of Americans have antibodies as a result of his Covid infection. This study did not consider reinfection or antibodies due to vaccination.

The CDC subsequently recorded more than 21 million confirmed cases between March and December 21 of this year, an underestimate because the data did not include people using rapid tests at home. I’m here.

In addition to the CDC’s February estimate of about 187 million infections, the more than 21 million additional confirmed cases are the lowest estimate of more than 208 million infections since the pandemic began. shows the value.

“It’s really hard to stop this virus. That’s one of the reasons we’ve shifted our focus from just counting cases to hospitalizations and deaths,” said Public Health.

The United States has come a long way since the dark ages of the pandemic. Deaths have fallen by about 90% since the peak of the pandemic in January 2021. At that time, more than 3,000 people were infected with the virus every day before vaccination became widespread. Hospital admissions per day are down 77% from her peak of over 21,000 in January 2022, and we see a massive Omicron surge.

Despite this progress, the number of deaths and hospitalizations remains stubbornly high given the widespread availability of vaccines and treatments. About 400 people die from the virus a day, and about 5,000 are hospitalized every day. The virus is still circulating at what would have been considered high levels early in the pandemic, with an average of nearly 70,000 confirmed cases reported daily.

More than one million people have died from Covid in the United States since the pandemic began, more than any other country in the world.

“I think people are fixated on that,” Frieden said of Covid victims. “The new coronavirus is the new bad thing in our environment and it could be around for a long time. There are years when it gets better and worse.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser who is stepping down this month, said the US could consider the pandemic over when Covid hospitalizations and deaths fell to levels similar to the flu burden. .

First, two viruses are circulating at high levels simultaneously. From October to the first week of December, the flu killed him 12,000, and in that time, Covid killed him more than 27,000.

“We’re still in the middle of this and it’s not over yet,” Fauci said in November on the radio show “Conversations on Health Care.” It’s not at a level we can afford, and we want to be much lower than that.”

Frieden said 95% of people dying from Covid did not get the latest vaccinations, and 75% of those who could benefit from the antiviral drug Paxlovid did not.

“We have to commend these great tools that we have, but we are not doing a good job of getting them out to people.

Dr. Ashish Jha, Covid Task Force Coordinator at the White House, said people staying up to date on vaccines and receiving treatment when they have breakthrough infections are at risk of dying from Covid at this point in the pandemic. Jha called on older Americans, especially those prone to serious illnesses, to give them a boost to get more protection during the holidays.

“There are still too many older Americans who have not been immunized and protected,” Jah told reporters at the White House last week.

Leading epidemiologist Michael Osterholm said novel coronavirus variants pose the greatest threat to the progress the United States will make in 2023.

China has responded to widespread social unrest in the fall by easing a strict zero-Covid policy aimed at quelling the virus outbreak. There is growing concern that there is

The virus has continued to mutate into a more contagious version of omicron over the past year, as immunity from vaccination and previous infections is weakening.

Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said, “After three years of activity, I’d like to believe that all the immunity that would have been acquired by vaccination or previous infections should protect us.” But with weakened immunity and its subspecies, we can’t say that.”

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