The actual number of coronavirus cases in South Florida as of April 10 was 11 times higher than initially reported, a recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study that tested for antibodies revealed.
That revelation suggests more people have contracted the virus without dying, which means the infection (or true) fatality rate (IFR) may be lower than initially believed.
CDC’s findings, last updated on June 26, drove the number of coronavirus cases in South Florida as of April 10 up from over 10,500 to an estimated 117,400.
That means the IFR, which takes into account asymptomatic cases, was lower than earlier projections, standing at less than one percent (0.19 – 0.6) as of the end of April, down from at least two percent before the CDC study.
The CDC study covered the South Florida counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin.
Breitbart News relied on COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) confirmed cases and death figures for those countries provided by the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
Using the new CDC and Johns Hopkins data, Breitbart News calculated that South Florida’s death rate was no more than 0.6 as of May 1, down over 80 percent from an estimated 3.6 before the antibodies study.
That mortality rate is between three and eight times lower than the earlier estimates — of two to four percent — that prompted the lockdowns
The 0.6 IFR takes into account the three-week lag, a conservative estimate, between the identification of a COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) infection and when the infected dies.
When taking the data at face value, without accounting for the time it takes for an individual to progress from being diagnosed to dying, Breitbart News determined the death rate was even lower — 0.19 percent.
In comparison, the flu’s death rate in the United State is 0.1 percent on average. Not all fatality rate estimates account for the estimated time between infection and death.
The 0.19 percent mortality rate (without accounting for the lag between infection and death), as of April 10, is down about 90 percent from about two percent before the CDC study.
According to the CDC data, the coronavirus mortality rate could be higher than the average flu, at least in South Florida.
While the number of coronavirus cases (excluding mild and asymptomatic infections) has significantly risen in Florida in recent weeks, the number of deaths has remained fairly stable, lower than the peak in May.
That again suggests more people are contracting COVID-19 without succumbing to it.
However, as explained before, there is a lag between infection and deaths, so the fatalities could increase in the next three weeks.
Florida, the third most populous state in America, has become one of the hardest-hit by COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.
This report only focused on the IFR, which tends to be lower than the crude (or case) fatality ratio that excludes people with no symptoms and only focuses on the reported number of confirmed coronavirus cases.
Health experts believe the IFR is a more accurate representation of the real mortality rate.
Besides South Florida, the CDC antibodies study covered other U.S. regions.