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The real COVID-19 infection count is likely 2X

April 7, 2022

Something to think about at your next in-person gathering: The actual number of COVID-19 infections in the United States could be nearly twice as high as the reported case count.

As of mid-March 2022, there had been approximately 80 million COVID-19 cases reported in the United States by the Washington Post’s count. That number includes figures gathered from cities, states, and Johns Hopkins University.

But a lot of infections apparently hover under the radar uncounted. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly looks at blood samples from the population and estimates that there had been more than 140 million infections representing approximately 43% of the population as of late January 2022. The majority of children appear to have been infected as well. The CDC gets this data from its nationwide surveys of remnant blood samples from commercial labs.

The estimated 140 million infected people as of late January 2022 is well over double the number included in counts by the Washington Post or government agencies at that time, the Washington Post reported in an article on the survey. The survey reflects people who had blood specimens tested by commercial laboratories for reasons unrelated to COVID-19, such a routine care or a sick visit.

Labs offer biospecimens for researchers

iSpecimen customers often seek out blood and other biospecimens, which can come from commercial labs that supply the iSpecimen Marketplace. We work with suppliers to integrate their systems with the Marketplace to share de-identified patient records as well as specimen inventory data.

The Marketplace makes it easy for researchers to discover, select, and order biospecimens or commission a prospective collection. Research organizations using the Marketplace can filter collections by age, gender, race, blood type, BMI, smoking status, medical history, family history, and more. Our collections include swabs, serum, plasma, blood and urine from COVID-19 test subjects and recovering patients.

Whatever number of infections there have been, let’s hope the numbers keep falling.

Learn about the iSpecimen Marketplace where you can browse millions of richly annotated, de-identified human tissue and biofluid biospecimens, in addition to hematopoietic and immune cell products and COVID-19 samples. You can join for free.