(AmericanPoliticalDaily.Com)- The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this week that the first coronavirus death in the United States happened as far back as February.
February 6, to be exact!
The news follows autopsy results that were confirmed by the CDC and suggest that the virus was ravaging the United States weeks earlier than initially thought. The death occurred in Santa Clara County in California.
A public health officer in the region, Dr. Sara Cody, told the San Francisco Chronicle that it means the virus has likely infected more people than we think.
“What it means is we had coronavirus circulating in the community much earlier than we had documented and much earlier than we had thought,” she said. “Those deaths probably represent many, many more infections. And so there had to be chains of transmission that go back much earlier.”
This isn’t the first time that evidence has suggested the virus may be more widespread than initially thought, either. Multiple studies have already shown people to suffer from the disease asymptomatically, including a recent randomized study of passers-by in Chelsea, Massachusetts, which showed one-third of people had coronavirus antibodies.
Before the CDC confirmed that two people died of the coronavirus on February 6 and 17 (both at home!) it was believed that the first death occurred in Kirkland, Washington, on February 29. The first case of a coronavirus infection being detected was on January 21, from a man who had travelled to Seattle from China.
Dr. Sara Cody didn’t provide the media with information about the people who died of the coronavirus in February, but did say that the fatalities prove “we had community transmission – probably significant transmission – far before we realized it and documented it.”
“From what we understand, neither of the cases had a travel history,” she added. “So we assume that they were acquired locally.”
What does this mean? Well, it means that more people are likely to have had the virus than we thought and that millions of people across the United States may have already been infected by the virus.
It could also mean that the virus is less deadly than initially believed, and death rates may fall to similar levels to regular flu. It is important to note, however, that this doesn’t mean that the virus isn’t more dangerous than normal flu. Owing to its highly infectious nature, without lockdown measures in densely populated areas, it is possible that hospitals could have become even more overwhelmed than they already are.