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Weird News Corona: Only six percent of the worldwide cases are recorded

17:10  08 april  2020
17:10  08 april  2020 Source:   spiegel.de

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More than 1.3 million people worldwide have been proven to be infected with the corona virus. Now a current study shows: The actual number is likely to be significantly higher, also in Germany.

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According to a recent study, tens of millions of people worldwide may have contracted the corona virus without the people affected appearing in official statistics. This is reported by researchers from the University of Göttingen . According to this, only about six percent of corona infections worldwide are recorded.

The researchers used a paradox in the current pandemic for the extrapolations: the recorded death rate of Covid 19 patients differs considerably between countries. The time between the detection of the infection and the death of the patient also fluctuates strongly in a country comparison - although the same pathogen is behind all diseases.

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The different numbers could at least partly be explained by the fact that people in certain countries are more susceptible to a serious infection. However, a large part of the deviations can be explained by the different data quality .

Previous studies suggest that the average coronavirus death rate is around 1.38 percent. This means that an average of 138 out of 10,000 patients who test positive for the coronavirus die. If the data from individual countries deviate significantly from this value, this indicates that far from all infections have been recorded there.

In Italy , the death rate was now 9.5 percent . The Göttingen researchers conclude that only 3.5 percent of the infections have been discovered in the country so far.

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In Spain it is only 1.7 percent.

The estimated discovery rate is even lower in the USA (1.6 percent) and Great Britain (1.2 percent). It is the two countries that initially reacted hesitantly to the pandemic and had made contact restrictions comparatively late, and was therefore heavily criticized .

According to the calculation, around 15.6 percent of the infections were discovered in Germany . By the end of March, at least 460,000 people should have been infected with the virus. At the time, only 61,913 cases were officially reported.

South Korea , on the other hand, appears to have discovered almost half of the infections. Nationwide tests were carried out early in the country (read more about here ).

"These results mean that governments must exercise extreme caution when interpreting the number of cases," said study author Sebastian Vollmer. "Such extreme differences in the scope and quality of the tests carried out in the different countries mean that the official case numbers do not provide any helpful information."

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Previous studies have also shown that the actual number of infections is likely to be significantly higher than , as the official statisticians indicate. According to an analysis by US researchers, there are up to ten undetected cases per confirmed corona case.

Experts in Germany are also aware of the problem. As long as it is not clear how many people have been infected with the virus, it is difficult to estimate when the current contact restrictions can be lifted without the health system collapsing.

researchers are now trying to find answers as quickly as possible in several short-term representative cross-sectional studies in Germany. In Munich, for example, people in 3000 households are to be regularly tested for antibodies. In the Heinsberg district in North Rhine-Westphalia, which is particularly badly affected by the virus, the virologist Hendrik Streeck is investigating how the virus spreads in detail. In addition, scientists have announced that they will look for 100,000 volunteers for antibodies against the new virus in the next few weeks.

All current information and recommendations from the Ministry of Health can be found here.

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