Up to 60% of COVID-19 cases in the US may have gone undetected, study finds

Up to 60% of COVID-19 cases in the US may have gone undetected, study finds
Up to 60% of COVID-19 cases in the US may have gone undetected, study finds

Up to 60 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the United States may not have been counted, a new study finds. 

Researchers from the University of Washington used testing data, case rates and death rates to estimate how many infections in each individual U.S. state was likely missed.

The main reason for missed COVID-19 cases is the lack of available testing, reluctance to get tested for some - whether out of fear of travel or not thinking their case was severe enough - or in some cases failures of the tests themselves.

This means the true number of total infections could be around 86 million instead of 34.4 million, as recorded by Johns Hopkins data.

The team says a  better understanding of the amount of people who contracted the virus will help in handling the potential long term effects the virus has on some patients.

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Only one out of every 2.3 COVID-19 cases were detected nationwide, according to a new study, meaning 60% of cases nationwide went undetected

Only one out of every 2.3 COVID-19 cases were detected nationwide, according to a new study, meaning 60% of cases nationwide went undetected

60% of COVID cases in Indiana went undetected, with many going unnoticed early on in the pandemic

60% of COVID cases in Indiana went undetected, with many going unnoticed early on in the pandemic

'There are all sorts of different data sources we can draw on to understand the COVID-19 pandemic -- the number of hospitalizations in a state, or the number of tests that come back positive,' said senior author Dr Adrian Raftery, a UW professor of sociology and of statistics

'But each source of data has its own flaws that would give a biased picture of what's really going on. 

'What we wanted to do is to develop a framework that corrects the flaws in multiple data sources and draws on their strengths to give us an idea of COVID-19's prevalence in a region, a state or the country as a whole.' 

Raftrey worked with worked with Nicholas Irons, a doctoral student at Washington, to gather data of COVID cases, deaths and tests administered in every state from March 2020 to March 2021.

They then used Indiana and Ohio as 'anchors' for their study, since the states used some

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