American and Chinese scientist have given a grim warning saying, the true number of cases in the US are far higher than the confirmed 1,056 cases.
The scientists from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and Peking University in Beijing released a report warning that eight confirmed coronavirus cases left Wuhan, China to the US before January.
They have provided a conservative rate that it is most likely they have each passed it on to at least two people, therefore it is more likely 9,484 people would have been infected in the US by 1 March.
The US and Chinese scientists said they simulated the coronavirus outbreak using confirmed numbers, that 20 people in America had the virus by 29 February.
From those 20 infected people eight did visit Wuhan, China before they returned back to America.
To explain their scientific assumptions, they wrote in the report “every undetected, infected person passed it on to two or 2.5 people. Other experts have put that rate at as many as five or six people.”
The scientists wrote in their conclusion, “This makes our current estimation likely to be an underestimation of the true number of infected individuals in the US.
“Our research indicates that, as of 03/01/2020, it is likely that there are already thousands of individuals in the US infected with SARS-CoV-2.
The scientists, furthermore did not rely on coronavirus passing from person to person contact, but just the eight confirmed coronavirus cases from Wuhan, China.
John Hopkins University Dr. Marty Makary told CNBC on Wednesday that America could easily see a similar scenario as Wuhan, China did.
“What happened in Wuhan could happen here. Why do we think otherwise?’
“The American immune system is not stronger than the Chinese immune system.
“Viruses don’t care about politics and they don’t care about location. We need to tell people right now to stop all nonessential travel.
“I feel strongly about that.”
Speaking on the US hospital system, he warned that it could become overrun with sick patients.
Dr Makary said, “If we get 200,000 critical care cases, we’re going to be overrun. So we need to do more.”
US health Secretary, Alex Azar said during an appearance on Good Morning America, “We’re still in the beginnings of the spread of the disease in the US but that’s why we’re taking such aggressive containment measures at the border as well as mitigation steps in local communities, as I said, to try to slow the spread.
“We need to be really clear, we’re been clear from the start, we’re going to see more cases.
“This is a virus, this will spread, we need to take steps to slow that, buy ourselves time.
“Every day we buy is a valuable day in terms of spreading and that’s why aggressive efforts are needed and public cooperation is important.”
Last month Chinese scientists broke cover and revealed the true cause of how the coronavirus outbreak started.
Biologists Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao published a pre-print entitled, “The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus.”
The report describes how “the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan.
“We noted two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus in Wuhan, one of which was only 280 metres from the seafood market.
“We briefly examined the histories of the laboratories and proposed that the coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory.
Other Chinese scientists announced there are two strains of coronavirus globally, they were discovered since the outbreak started on 31 December 2019.
The scientists from Peking University’s School of Life Sciences and the Institute Pasteur of Shanghai’ believe 70% of people have caught the more pernicious strain out of the two coronaviruses.
The report was published on Tuesday, in the National Science Review, the journal of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.