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When two New York City hospitals began testing all maternity patients for Covid-19, what portion of the women who tested positive did not have any symptoms?

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A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that two New York City hospitals have been testing for C-19 in all women who were admitted to deliver a child. Among the 33 women who tested positive, 29 had no symptoms upon admission, and 3 later developed a fever, although not necessarily from C-19. Combining these figures, 79% to 88% of the women who tested positive had no symptoms. Also, the actual asymptomatic rate may be higher because C-19 lab tests sometimes fail to detect the disease. Although this data is for relatively young females and is not applicable to the entire U.S. population, it implies that the death rate for C-19 is much lower than the rates often reported by the media. This is because they exclude from their denominators many people who don't become ill and are never tested, thus exaggerating the death rate.

DocumentationNEJM ArticleC-19 Crucial Facts




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