Preliminary results from New York’s first coronavirus antibody study show nearly 14 percent tested positive, meaning they had the virus at some point and recovered, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday. That equates to 2.7 million infections statewide — more than 10 times the state’s confirmed cases.
The study, part of Cuomo’s “aggressive” antibody testing launched earlier this week, is based on 3,000 random samples from 40 locations in 19 counties. While the preliminary data suggests much more widespread infection, it means New York’s mortality rate is much lower than previously thought.
As of Thursday, nearly 16,000 people in New York have died of virus-related complications. With 260,000-plus confirmed cases, the mortality rate would be as high as 6 percent. With 2.7 million cases, it would be around 0.5 percent — much lower, though still much higher than the seasonal flu.
..New York City had a higher rate of antibodies (21.2 percent) than anywhere else in the state and accounted for 43 percent of the total tested. Long Island had a 16.7 percent positivity rate, while Westchester and Rockland counties saw 11.7 percent of their samples come up with the antibody…
..The early estimates mirror findings from a study in Los Angeles County, California. Researchers there found COVID-19 could have been 55 times more prevalent than reported, which would mean a far lower morbidity rate than believed.