CORONAVIRUS

Estimates Show Up To Half Of COVID-19 Carriers Don’t Have Symptoms And Can Infect Others Blindly

Apr 1, 2020, 9:40 AM | Updated: 10:05 am
People set up hospital beds in an emergency field hospital to aid in the COVID-19 pandemic in Centr...
People set up hospital beds in an emergency field hospital to aid in the COVID-19 pandemic in Central Park on March 30, 2020 in New York City. The field hospital is the work of the Samaritan's Purse organization and will add 68 hospital beds specifically equipped to serve as a respiratory care unit and to be administered by Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
(Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

(CNN) — More data showing people without symptoms are fueling the spread of coronavirus have top officials rethinking whether the general public should be wearing masks.

New data out of Iceland shows 50% of those who tested positive said they were asymptomatic.

In the US, an estimated 25% of coronavirus carriers have no symptoms, said the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“One of the (pieces of) information that we have pretty much confirmed now is that a significant number of individuals that are infected actually remain asymptomatic. That may be as many as 25%,” CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield told NPR.

To prevent further spread, the nation’s top infectious disease expert says health officials are now re-examining guidance on face masks.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said he would “lean towards” recommending that the general public wear face masks “if we do not have the problem of taking away masks from the healthcare workers who need them.”

If federal officials recommend the widespread use of face masks, it would be a stark reversal from recommendations by the World Health Organization and the CDC, who have said face masks should only be worn by health care workers, those who are sick, and those who are taking care of someone sick.

“There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program, said Monday.

“In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly.”

The US could have 2,000 deaths a day

More than 186,000 people in the US have been infected with coronavirus, and at least 3,852 have died.

White House officials predict more than 100,000 people could die from coronavirus — and that’s if the public practices social distancing guidelines perfectly.

By mid-April, when the virus is projected to hit the country the hardest, as many as 2,000 Americans could die each day, a model cited by the White House shows.

Health officials saying measures working to curb the spread of the virus are the only hope for keeping the death toll in the thousands and not millions.

If Americans don’t follow social distancing guidelines, worst-case modeling projects up to 2.2 million people could die, said Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator.

More than two dozen states have issued stay-at-home orders, and the federal government extended social distancing guidelines to last through April 30.

Birx said there’s no easy way to fix the coronavirus pandemic. It’s up to the public to help stop the spread.

“There is no magic bullet,” she said. “There is no magic vaccine or therapy. It’s just behaviors. Each of our behaviors translating into something that changes the course of this viral pandemic over the next 30 days.”

Evidence shows social distancing helps

About 80% of the US population has been ordered to stay at home, according to a CNN count. That count includes state, city and county orders.

Health officials say social distancing efforts seem to be paying off, including in Washington state’s King County — the country’s first coronavirus epicenter.

“We are looking at reductions in person-to-person contact that have progressively improved and have led us to a point where we are making a very positive impact,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, the public health officer for Seattle and King County.

In hard-hit New York, a CNN analysis shows the day-to-day average of case increases in the past week was 17% — a major decrease from 58% for the previous seven-day period.

An a large-scale study found that early interventions, such as social distancing and severe restrictions on people’s movement, have already saved tens of thousands of lives across Europe.

Scientists at imperial College London studied interventions in 11 European countries and concluded that they “have together had a substantial impact on transmission.”

The researchers estimate as of March 31, “interventions across all 11 countries will have averted 59,000 deaths.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus

FILE: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a news briefing at the Pentagon July 21,...
TARA COPP, Associated Press

Keep COVID military vaccine mandate, defense chief says

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is making clear he wants to keep the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place to protect the health of the troops.
2 days ago
flu shot tripledemic...
Matt Rascon

KSL+: The rise of respiratory viruses and COVID’s impact

It’s not even winter yet, and the CDC is warning that the country is experiencing a resurgence of respiratory viruses, which are taking a toll on hospitals and children.
3 days ago
RSV and flu...
Deidre McPhillips, CNN

Flu season intensifies, holiday gatherings could make it worse

Americans gathered for Thanksgiving last week amid a flu season that's worse than any has been in more than a decade, and experts continue to urge caution as multiple respiratory viruses circulate at high levels nationwide.
7 days ago
Protesters hold up blank papers and chant slogans as they march in protest in Beijing, Sunday, Nov....
Jessie Yeung and CNN's Beijing bureau

Rare protests are spreading across China. Here’s what you need to know

From Shanghai to Beijing, protests have erupted across China in a rare show of dissent against the ruling Communist Party.
7 days ago
Police officers block Shanghai's Urumqi Road on Sunday. (Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images)...
CNN's Beijing bureau and Nectar Gan

Protests erupt across China in unprecedented challenge to Xi Jinping’s zero-Covid policy

Protests erupted across China throughout the weekend, including at universities and in Shanghai where hundreds chanted "Step down, Xi Jinping! Step down, Communist Party!"
8 days ago
Salt Lake City Police at the University of Utah Hospital due to a possible bomb threat. (Salt Lake ...
Michael Houck

Police: Unattended bag led to bomb squad response at U of U Hospital

Salt Lake City Police responded to a possible bomb threat at the University of Utah hospital Tuesday afternoon.
20 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Estimates Show Up To Half Of COVID-19 Carriers Don’t Have Symptoms And Can Infect Others Blindly