The number of coronavirus cases may be as much as 13 times higher than what has been reported, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

The CDC said it tested blood samples from 10 sites in Connecticut, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, the New York City metro area, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay area, South Florida, Utah and western Washington State as part of routine patient care, and found many of those tested may have had the coronavirus but did not display symptoms or seek medical care, allowing the virus to circulate undetected.

Researchers analyzed blood samples from patients who had their blood taken during routine or sick visits to determine if there was evidence of prior coronavirus infection. The blood samples were tested by commercial laboratories.

“These data continue to show that the number of people who have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 far exceeds the number of reported cases,” Dr. Fiona Havers, the CDC researcher who led the study, told The New York Times in an email. “Many of these people likely had no symptoms or mild illness and may have had no idea that they were infected.”

The CDC said it wants to test about 1,800 blood samples from each of the 10 sites every three to four weeks. The agency said it will continue to update its findings as they become available.

The CDC also said 10 days is the amount of time that people need to quarantine when they display symptoms of the COVID-19, in most instances.

The CDC said the guideline applies to most people with COVID-19 illness and after symptom onset. However, some people may need to quarantine for as long as 20 days if symptoms persist, or they have severe infections from the virus. Individuals who never develop symptoms but test positive for COVID-19 can also discontinue quarantining after 10 days.

The CDC previously had said 14 days was the time necessary for quarantine upon showing symptoms of COVID-19.

Elsewhere, a pair of Chinese hackers were criminally charged by the U.S. Justice Department for allegedly trying to steal coronavirus vaccine development data. The charges come less than a week after Russia was accused of trying to steal coronavirus research data.

Li Xiaoyu, 34, and Dong Jiazhi, 33, were accused of hacking information from hundreds of companies, governments, organizations, dissidents, clergy, and democratic and human rights activists on behalf of the Chinese government and for personal financial gain. The pair were indicted on 11 counts by a Spokane, Washington, grand jury.

China routinely denies that it promotes any hacking activities against the U.S. or other countries.

In other coronavirus news:

  • Walmart will close its doors on Thanksgiving Day to give its employees a break after working through the coronavirus pandemic. The news was announced in a memo to workers, which also included details about a special bonuses that would be paid to those who worked through the pandemic. As much as $428 million will be doled out.
  • Californians will now be allowed to have their hair cut and nails painted if the salon operates outside. The new guidelines come courtesy of Gov. Gavin Newsom and follow rollbacks on indoor operations for restaurants, bars, gyms and other nonessential businesses.
  • President Trump will see a scaled-back Republican convention in Jacksonville, Florida, as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in the state. In a memo from the Republican National Committee, obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, the RNC said the number of people admitted to the convention will be reduced. Trump moved the event from Charlotte, North Carolina, because the governor insisted on a scaled-back event.
  • Minnesota has reported one of the youngest people to die from COVID-19: a 9-month-old infant. The child was thought to have no underlying health conditions and was not hospitalized.
  • Starbucks will offer contactless payments to prevent the spread of the coronavirus through debit, credit and some mobile wallet payments. The new payment options, along with cash, will earn customers stars as part of the coffee chain’s updated loyalty program.
  • Employment law firm Littler said lawsuits against employers are on the rise since the pandemic started. Since March 17, there have been 364 lawsuits filed against employers, claiming there have been labor and employment violations related to the coronavirus.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a new program that will listen to feedback from federal officials and the private sector. The program, National Testing Implementation Forum, will allow key stakeholders to share information about the coronavirus as it related to COVID-19, testing, and diagnostics.
  • According to a study from Spain of patients with COVID-19, new symptoms could include mouth lesions and skin rashes. The findings from the study could make it easier for doctors to diagnose the virus, which typically includes symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
  • Travelers to China will now need to prove they do not have the coronavirus before they hop aboard a flight as the country looks to prevent new spread of the virus. The Civil Aviation Administration of China said that citizens must now upload a photo of their negative coronavirus test certificate to a health app while foreigners will have to apply to the Chinese embassy or consulate with proof of their negative test status.
  • Globally there have been over 14.7 million cases of the coronavirus confirmed as of Tuesday late afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. topped over 3.8 million cases, while Brazil and India trailed at over 2.1 million and 1.15 million cases of the virus, respectively. Global COVID-19 deaths have reached over 610,000, the university said.
scientists warn about a likely huge wave of brain damage resulting from coronavirus infections
scientists warn about a likely huge wave of brain damage resulting from coronavirus infections enriquelopezgarre - Pixabay