Antibody Tests Suggest Covid-19 May Have Spread Much More Than Predicted, With Possibly HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS Infected Worldwide
- Antibody Tests Suggest Covid-19 May Have Spread Much More Than Predicted, With Possibly HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS Infected Worldwide
by Peter Andrews, https://www.rt.com/
The WHO says new studies indicate that up to 230 million people may have had coronavirus and survived – more than ninety times more than the current official tally of 2.5 million confirmed cases.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that early data from antibody testing studies around the world indicate that “only” 2-3 percent of people have been infected by the coronavirus, a figure lower than expected.
Antibodies for a specific virus appear in the blood of people who have had and cleared that virus. Antibody or serological testing takes advantage of this by checking specifically for these antibodies, rather than the virus itself, which may have left the system.
If two to three percent of people worldwide tested positive for antibodies, a back-of-the-envelope calculation indicates that something in the order of 150-230 million people worldwide have already been infected with coronavirus. This dwarfs the current official estimate of around 2.5 million cases, and casts into doubt the possibility of an effective containment strategy.
“The worst is yet ahead of us,” was the message from the director-general of the WHO Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. He was speaking at a press conference to announce that the number of infected people was “even in heavily affected areas, not more than two to three percent.” While the WHO acknowledges that this is only an indication from early data, it says they had been expecting there’d be more people with antibodies by this point. But officials may take encouragement that this estimated high number of cases would imply a much lower mortality rate.
Losing the herd?
These figures do, however, deal a blow to those in the “herd immunity” camp, who believe that the best path to ending the crisis is to reach a point where enough members of a population are immune to the virus that it cannot spread enough to reach those who are not immune. Estimates for what that point would be range from 60–90 percent. If the WHO’s figure of 2-3 percent is accurate, then we are still a long way away from herd immunity.