NEW YORK, NY – On March 1, a Manhattan woman who had recently returned from a trip to Iran became the first New Yorker to test positive for the novel coronavirus. Now, however, medical experts believe that the disease was already widespread by then, with at least 10,800 infected in the NYC area alone.
Researchers at Northeastern University have developed a model that essentially reverse-engineers the chain of transmissions using currently available data. Their work finds that by early March, when 23 Americans had tested positive for the virus, more than 28,000 individuals across five US metro areas were likely also infected, according to a New York Times article published yesterday. While this sort of modeling is inherently an inexact science, the Times says that other research teams broadly corroborated the findings.
The research also paints a grim picture of how unprepared the United States was at the time, and how far it was lagging behind in the testing necessary to accurately assess the extent and spread of the disease. While America’s attention was focused on the dire outbreak in Northern Italy, thousands of cases were spreading undetected across this country.
DISCLAIMER: This is part of Finz & Finz, P.C.,’s ongoing series about the coronavirus pandemic. Our goal is to keep our fellow New Yorkers informed and safe during this crisis. If you or someone you love has been impacted by this disease, contact us today.