More than 90% of the American population remains “susceptible” to Covid-19, according to Dr. Robert Redfield.
Dr. Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told lawmakers that the coronavirus has infected as much as 15% to 20% of the American population in some states and less than 1% in others.
He added that the agency is currently conduction a “very large” study that aims to measure how vastly the virus has spread throughout the country.
Knowing the rate of infection is important in determining some immunity against the coronavirus for at least a few months.
“The preliminary results in the first round show that a majority of our nation, more than 90% of the population, remains susceptible,” Dr. Redfield said at a Senate hearing held by the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. “A majority of Americans are still susceptible.”
Meanwhile, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that allowing the coronavirus to spread without control to reach herd immunity could lead to a death toll that is “totally unacceptable.”
“If you look at the United States of America with our epidemic of obesity, as it were, with the number of people with hypertension, with the number of people with diabetes, if everyone got infected, the death toll would be enormous and totally unacceptable,” Dr. Fauci said on Aug. 31.
According to a study by the University of Rochester Medical Center, Covid-19 has hit minorities in nursing homes and assisted living communities.
Findings also revealed that Covid-19 hit not only minorities but also their caregivers. The researchers used newly mandated weekly data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of over 15,500 nursing homes and also came from two studies released on Monday in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
These people do not know they are infected with the virus. Most of them either never developed symptoms or manifested mild symptoms, according to Dr. Takeshi Kasai, WHO’s regional director for the Western Pacific.
CDC has reversed its own guidance on people without symptoms but who were exposed to an infected individual, clarifying that they “need a test.”
According to CDC, “close contact” happens when one is within 6 feet of an infected individual for at least 15 minutes.
“Please consult with your healthcare provider or public health official. Testing is recommended for all close contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the new guidance said.
“Because of the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, it is important that contacts of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection be quickly identified and tested,” it said.
Several studies suggest that people can carry and transmit the virus without manifesting symptoms. This could happen in the presymptomatic stage and in situations where they never show symptoms.