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CDC's best estimate: 35% of those infected with COVID-19 asymptomatic

CDC's best estimate: 35% of those infected with COVID-19 asymptomatic
Posted at 5:30 PM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 17:30:13-04

The CDC has issued its “best estimates” on the proportion of those who are infected with COVID-19 being asymptomatic, as well as estimates on the virus’ fatality rate.

According to the model's “best estimates,” 35% of those infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic. The models also indicate that the virus is fatal for .4% of those with symptomatic infections.

The models give five different scenarios. Four of the five scenarios are based on parameter values that represent the lower and upper bounds of disease severity and viral transmissibility. The fifth scenario represents a current best estimate about viral transmission and disease severity in the United States, with the same caveat: that the parameter values will change as more data become available.

In two of the worst case scenarios, the coronavirus would be fatal for up to 1% of those with symptomatic infections. The range of those who are asymptomatic is 20% to 50%, based on the models.

The CDC’s models also show that between 2.8% to 4.1% of all symptomatic infections result in hospitalizations, with the CDC’s best estimate being 3.4%.

The model estimates that it takes an average of six days from infection to symptom onset. The model also estimates that 40% of transmissions occur prior to symptom onset.

The CDC offered the following disclaimers about the information:

  • Are estimates intended to support public health preparedness and planning.
  • Are not predictions of the expected effects of COVID-19.
  • Do not reflect the impact of any behavioral changes, social distancing, or other interventions.

To read the full data, click here.