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FRIDAY, April 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A new study suggests that up to 2.7 million people in New York may have been infected with the new coronavirus -- a number 10 times higher than the confirmed cases in the state.
The preliminary findings from the state's first coronavirus antibody study were announced Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Nearly 14% of people tested positive, meaning they had the coronavirus at some point and recovered, NBC News reported.
The results are based on 3,000 random samples from 40 locations in 19 counties. While they suggest a much higher rate of infection, they also mean that the state's death rate may be much lower than previously thought.
As of Thursday, there had been nearly 16,000 COVID-19 deaths. With 250,000-plus confirmed cases, the death rate would be as high as 16%, but that falls to about 0.5% with 2.7 million cases, NBC News reported.
However, it's difficult to determine the state's actual COVID-19 death rate because the state's official report counts death in hospitals and nursing homes, but not at-home deaths or other "probable" cases, noted Cuomo, who said that researchers continue to analyze the antibody study data.
A recent study in Los Angeles County, California found the rate of coronavirus infection there could have been 55 times higher than reported, which would also mean a far lower death rate than believed, NBC News reported.
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