With that code, the CDC noted that Covid-19 “should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death.”
“A better test would be a blood test to measure any protein particles of the virus in your bloodstream, as well as an antibody response,” Galiatsatos said. “I do think what we are seeing is a tip of an iceberg, and the numerator and denominator are truly disconnected.”
The CDC said Monday it is preparing to use a blood test to survey whether people in the United States have antibodies from the novel coronavirus, according to a statement from CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund.
The tests have already been used to monitor immune responses in several coronavirus contact investigations, and they’ll be deployed in coming weeks “to further identify individuals who, due to mild infection, may have not known they were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and to monitor immunity in recovered individuals,” Nordlund said.
That type of test, called a serology test, would be able to identify past coronavirus infections, although it may be less effective at identifying recent ones.
The authorized test, from a manufacturer called Cellex Inc., requires blood to be collected through a vein, and the test itself can only be performed in a certified lab.
Because antibodies can take time to develop, the FDA has previously warned against using antibody tests to definitively diagnose coronavirus.
But in issuing what is known as an Emergency Use Authorization for the new test, the FDA signaled that the benefits of using the new blood test outweighed the risks.
‘There will be a lot of death’
International leaders have long suspected Covid-19 cases and deaths have been undercounted because so many possible cases remain untested.
“The new virus is doing what has been expected of it to do,” Pankhania said in the statement. “It is highly transmissible, infectious and disease-causing, thus we can expect continued major global disruption lasting for a very long time and it is better to say so now, rather than to say, it will all be over in a few months. There are no indicators which direct us to believe this pandemic is going to be over in a few months.”
“This will be probably the toughest week between this week and next week,” the President said at a White House briefing Saturday. “And there will be a lot of death, unfortunately. But a lot less death than if this wasn’t done,” he said, referring to certain mitigation tactics, such as social distancing and stay-at-home orders.
Arman Azad, Wes Bruer, Christina Maxouris and Dakin Andone contributed to this report.
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