(HealthDay)—An estimated 14.3 percent of the U.S. population were infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection by mid-November 2020, according to a study published online Jan. 5 in JAMA Network Open.

Frederick J. Angulo, D.V.M., Ph.D., from Pfizer Vaccines in Portland, Oregon, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study to estimate the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections, symptomatic infections, hospitalizations, and deaths as of Nov. 15, 2020, in the United States. Data were obtained from four regional and one nationwide U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seroprevalence surveys for April (16,596 participants), May, June, and July (40,817 participants), and August (38,355 participants).

The researchers found estimated medians of 46,910,006 SARS-CoV-2 infections; 28,122,752 symptomatic infections; 956,174 hospitalizations; and 304,915 deaths through Nov. 15, 2020, in the United States using underreporting multipliers derived from CDC seroprevalence studies. As of mid-November 2020, an estimated 14.3 percent of the U.S. population was infected by SARS-CoV-2.

“Results suggest that although more than 14 percent of the U.S. population may have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 as of mid-November 2020, there remains a substantial gap between the estimated proportion of the population infected and the proportion infected that is required for herd immunity,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer and Merck, which funded the study.

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Around 14.3 percent of U.S. population infected with SARS-CoV-2 by November 15 (2021, January 5)
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