Researchers from an elite university in the United States are causing a stir with their study. How dangerous is the corona virus really?
As of Tuesday, 170,000 people worldwide have died from the corona virus, almost 2.5 million people are infected. However, it is still controversial how dangerous the disease really is and how high the death rate is. Researchers at Stanford University are now causing a stir with a new study. As a result, the death rate is much lower than previously thought, making Corona no more dangerous than seasonal flu.
Death rate only at 0.12 to 0.2 percent
A study of antibody tests showed that 50 times more people were infected with the coronavirus or are officially diagnosed in Silicon Valley, California. Researchers at Stanford University recruited 3,300 volunteers in Santa Clara County on Facebook and tested their blood for antibodies to the novel corona virus.
Accordingly, between 2.5 and 4.1 percent of the district’s population have been infected so far – 50 to 85 times as many as the number of officially registered cases. The data suggested that between April 1st, 48,000 and 81,000 people in the county had been infected with the virus, the study authors said. At this time, 956 cases were reported. The numbers would mean that the death rate is only 0.12 to 0.2 percent. Such a mortality rate is also assumed to be the case with influenza.
Criticism of the study
The presence of antibodies in the blood proves that the immune system has battled an illness even if the patient has had no symptoms. Antibody testing is ongoing in several regions of the United States and the rest of the world to find out how much coronavirus has actually spread and how many people are likely to become infected.
The US study also caused criticism. Bioinformatician Balaji S. Srinivasan criticizes his colleagues sharply. There were no technical reviews, which is essential for scientific work. In addition, the sample may not be representative. Srinivasan also criticizes that there are possible measurement errors in the infection rate. The bioinformatician also doubts the described death rate of 0.12 to 0.2 percent. The numbers in New York would show that this value must be higher.