Coronavirus Updates: 1.7 million New York City residents estimated to have had COVID-19

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information

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Tuesday, November 3, 2020
COVID Updates: 1.7M NYC residents estimated to have had coronavirus
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Researchers from Mount Sinai found that COVID-19 may have been present in NYC as early as mid-February and that nearly 20% of the population had been infected by the virus.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Using plasma samples from urgent care centers and a general patient population, researchers from Mount Sinai found that COVID-19 may have been present in New York City as early as mid-February and that nearly 20% of the population had been infected by the virus by April 19, representing approximately 1.7 million residents.

A team of researchers from the Mount Sinai Health System conducted antibody tests to look for evidence of past infection using over 10,000 plasma samples from two sets of patients seen in their hospital system. The first "sentinel" set of patients were seen in Mount Sinai's urgent care centers or admitted to the hospital, while the second "screening" set of patients were seen other departments in the health system and were meant to represent the general population.

Based on their antibody testing, the authors found that plasma samples from as early as mid-February showed evidence of COVID-19, suggesting that the virus may have been present in New York City earlier than had previously been determined.

Nearly 60% of "sentinel" group patients' samples demonstrated evidence of prior infection by mid-April and appeared to plateau thereafter. Additionally, the researchers report that 19.2% of samples from the "screening" group tested positive for infection at the study's last timepoint, April 19.

By extrapolating this finding to New York City's larger population, the team predicts that 1.7 million of New York City's residents had been infected by the virus by April 19, with an estimated case-fatality rate of about 1% - 10 times higher than that of the common flu.

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