Americans may overestimate their risk of contracting the new coronavirus, a controversial new study from California suggests.
Researchers found that a person who has a single contact with an infected person has, on average, a chance of getting ill about 4,000 without taking preventive measures, such as social distance or wearing a mask.
For middle age, the risk of hospitalization is nearly one in a million and the risk of death is nearly one in 20 million.
The Stanford University and University of California Los Angeles team says action by local and state governments, media attention, and the lack of sense of control can affect public risk perception.
In a new study, researchers calculated that someone who has a single contact with an infected person has a 3,836 chance of becoming sick themselves (see above)
For Americans between the ages of 50 and 64, the risk of hospitalization is one in 852,000 and the risk of death is one in 19.1 million (higher, risk of death)
The team says government action, media coverage, and the lack of sense of control can affect risk perception. Pictured: Clinicians Care for a COVID-19 Patient at ICU at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, California, May 6
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned that the virus can be easily transferred between people, usually from infected drops from coughing or sneezing.
However, the federal health service has never issued a hard number for the general public’s infection risk.
Dr. Rajiv Bhatia, a clinical assistant professor of primary care and public health at Stanford, told DailyMail.com that there are several articles on case and death data, but not on risk.
“The data we’ve seen in the media really reflects what is happening at the societal, global, state level,” he said.
“We’re getting these really large numbers of deaths and very large numbers of cases, and they all seem to be growing, but what that matters to me isn’t really answered by those questions.”
Published on the pre-print site for the study medRxiv, orgThe team reviewed incident incidents for the week ending May 30 in the 100 most populous US provinces.
Then they calculated the chance of contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, from someone who doesn’t know they have it, including a household member.
The results showed that in these medium to large counties, the risk of infection is one per 3836.
In addition, this is when a person does not exercise social distance, does not wear a mask, and does not have good hand hygiene.
For a person between the ages of 50 and 64, the chance of being hospitalized with the virus after one contact is one in 852,000.
The risk of death is even smaller. with people of the same age having a 1 in 19.1 million chance of dying from COVID-19, based on figures from the last week of May.
“Somehow I was surprised and somehow not,” said Bhatia.
“Even up [the pandemic’s] peak, except in some places, serious events were quite rare events.
“The perception given all the data and the images and the emergencies, the war metaphors, the uncertainty, the lack of control, these were all factors that I think have increased the perception of risk.
Investigators not involved in the study, such as Dr. A. Marm Kilpatrick, an assistant professor and infectious disease researcher at UC Santa Cruz, said The Mercury News the document’s conclusions are “very flawed”.
First, the study put everyone at risk, despite previous evidence that shows where you live or work can increase or decrease your risk.
In addition, the team did not consider underlying health problems that increase risk, including obesity, diabetes, and hypertension
Bhatia claims, however, that this was the risk it faced at the end of May and that it would increase if things increased across the country.
“Everyone does not have the same risk. The risk for most people is low, “he said.
“If more data on the cases were made public – risk exposure factors – everyone could gain a better understanding of their actual risks and focus public health efforts on where the damage is greatest.”