The COVID-19 Statistic We Need

There’s a very useful statistic that I have not seen from any government source in the U.S.: the percentage of asymptomatic hospital patients who test positive for COVID-19. That is, if someone enters the hospital system for something other than COVID-19, what is the chance they have COVID-19?

It’s not a perfect statistic. It could be biased towards people who are more likely to take risks regarding COVID-19–someone who twists their ankle ordinarily might go to the emergency room, but maybe now some people decide to wait it out a bit (or go to a doctor’s office first). It also would be biased towards women ages 20-35 (that baby is coming whether you want it to or not) as well as elderly people (heart attacks, etc.). Still, it would give us a rough estimate of the actual prevalence, and changes over time, to a considerable extent (there might be seasonable variation too), would tell us how things are changing. I think it would be very useful, though like other statistics, it shouldn’t be interpreted in isolation.

Other than the University of California hospital system, I haven’t seen any release of these data. It’s something that should be done nationally.

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1 Response to The COVID-19 Statistic We Need

  1. Joe Shelby says:

    (cripes, somehow i managed to lose everything i typed)

    NYC did a story on that back in May or June (I’m having a very hard time finding it), that there were lots of accidents and incidents, little things like falling down the stairs or skateboard accidents resulting in broken legs, where the patient showed no obvious cold-like Covid-19 symptoms but tested positive anyways (this was when the hospitals were finally in a position to test everybody who came in).

    It was around this time that they determined some of the blood-clotting and other neurological effects / symptoms of Covid-19…and also that the asymptomatic carrier number was much larger than first thought.

    but like i said, VERY hard to find that article now. Too may common keywords for google to limit it, and the delivery ward that had 17% positive cases among women giving birth, most with no symptoms until after the delivery, comes up too often.

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