The number of Covid-19 cases across the US may have been undercounted by as much as 60%, researchers at the University of Washington have found.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, builds on research which has found the number of reported cases “represents only a fraction of the estimated total number of infections”. It has important implications for how many Americans need to be vaccinated to stop outbreaks.
The paper comes as a swath of states across the south and midwest, especially Arkansas, Missouri and Louisiana, experience outbreaks driven by Delta variant infections among unvaccinated people.
For some people, the moment the ambulance arrives is the time they start expressing regrets about not receiving a coronavirus vaccine. For others, it’s the death of a loved one.
Healthcare workers and Covid patients have spoken out about growing numbers who, once faced with the serious reality of catching the virus, realise that they made a huge mistake.
Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, a senior intensive care registrar, said she had only come across one patient in critical care who had received both vaccination doses, and that the “vast majority” of people she was seeing were “completely unvaccinated”.
According to official statistics, about 60% of people being admitted to hospital with Covid are unvaccinated.
Batt-Rawden said it was difficult to witness the look of regret on patient’s faces when they became very unwell and needed to go on a ventilator. “You can see it dawn on them that they potentially made the biggest mistake of their lives [in not getting the vaccine], which is really hard,” she said, adding that she had overheard people telling family members about their remorse.