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2 new studies released by Stanford U and NE Journal of Medicine suggests rate of coronavirus is much higher than originally though

A study from Stanford University, tested samples from 3,330 people in Santa Clara county found that the rate of virus may be 50 to 85 times higher than official figures

The Study 

The study was conducted by identifying antibodies in healthy individuals through a finger prick test, which indicated whether they had already contracted and recovered from the virus. Volunteers for the study were recruited through Facebook ads, which researchers say were targeted to capture a representative sample of the county’s demographics and geography.

At the time of the study, Santa Clara county had 1,094 confirmed cases of Covid-19, resulting in 50 deaths. But based on the rate of participants who have antibodies, the study estimates it is likely that between 48,000 and 81,000 people had been infected in Santa Clara county by early April.

What could this mean 

The rate of death is not 5% but potentially 0.2%

It could also mean that we may be closer to herd immunity – the concept that if enough people in a population have developed antibodies to a disease that population becomes immune – than expected. 

To reach herd immunity a significant portion of the population would have to be infected and recovered from coronavirus.

This is a dangerous assumption as to get herd immunity most of the population should have it – not 3% 

The National Institute of Health is testing 10,000 people. UC Berkeley is going to test 5,000 healthy volunteers to see if they have, or have ever had, the coronavirus.

The conclusion ? 

So – the 2 things that need to be done to obliterate the virus

1.    Mass Testing to work out real numbers of people with virus vs people dying to get real % and to see whether there is herd immunity – such as at a Stanford and Berkeley . If % of death is a small number – can we live with it – and “go back to our normal way” – albeit more hygienic (maybe with masks and clean hands) 

2.    Find a vaccine 

Inspired by an article in the guardian

Posted on April 19, 2020

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