The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates that only 7 percent of cases are detected in The United States, meaning The actual number of recent infections in The United States could be 14.5 times higher than officially reported. The last time infection rates were this low was at the beginning of the outbreak, in March 2020. “This is a dynamic situation,” said Ali Mokdad, a professor and chief strategy officer for population health at the institute. “Things are changing fast.”
According to the National Institutes of Health, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States has been consistently underestimated, but one possible reason for the low numbers is that the number of COVID-19 tests being conducted in non-traditional Settings, such as people’s homes, already exceeds the number of tests being conducted in LABS. With at-home testing on the rise, health experts worry that most of those test results are not reported, underestimating the true number of coronavirus cases across the United States.
Mokdad added that another reason the testing rate was so low was that most people infected with the Omicron variant showed no symptoms, so they didn’t even know they were being tested.
Testing is crucial. On the one hand, from an individual point of view, the test can tell people whether they need to be isolated so as not to infect others and receive treatment in time. COVID-19 treatment is more effective in the early stages of the disease. On the other hand, the testing rate can remind people to be more cautious in areas with a high number of confirmed cases, so as not to catch and spread the virus. At the same time, the detection rate can tell public health experts what policies should be taken. Philadelphia, for example, reinstated its mask ban after a surge in cases.
“What used to be the ‘gold standard for assessing detection rates is becoming more complex as countries’ immunization profiles are changing,” said Spencer Fox, an expert at the University of Texas’ COVID-19 Modeling Consortium. Omicron is highly contagious and reinfection is becoming common.”
If a friend or family member is infected with a contagious virus, wearing an N95 respirator is a great way to protect yourself from infection