Far More Fevers than Tests, in WV and US
Paul Burke <box1320@...>
the week ending March 21, WV had twice as many patients who went to
doctors' offices with fever over 100 and cough or sore throat,
as in past years. This compares
the same week this year to past flu seasons. An extra 1,800 patients. Future weeks will likely be worse.
As of that date, 3/21, last Saturday, WV had tested 441 people and found 11 cases. As of yesterday, 3/28, WV has tested 2,818 people for Covid19 and found 113 cases. CDC will update data on fevers on Friday.
In that same week ending March 21, the country had three times as many doctor visits with 100F and cough or sore throat, as past flu seasons: 590,000 patients. This was 390,000 more than the 200,000-patient average for the same week in past flu seasons. And these doctor visits exclude other people who stayed home with fevers.
At that point the US had tested 180,000 people and 13% had Covid19. We can estimate about 200,000 out of 590,000, or 34%, had flu, reflecting the prevalence of flu in the past. Who are all the other new fever patients going to doctors? Are the test results representative of all fever patients? Or are test results biased toward healthy outcomes if they are given to health care workers, healthy contacts of sick people and VIPs?
Virginia and Maryland had 14,000 and 11,000 more fever cases in the week ending 3/21 than previous years. New York had 63,000 more, New Jersey 52,000, California and Texas 44,000 each, Pennsylvania 18,000.
The numbers of fever patients are based on a CDC sample which shows what percentage of outpatient doctor visits have 100F fever with cough or sore throat. CDC calls it "influenza-like illness" (ILI). They release the data for each state for each week 2010-2020. I ignored states where fewer than 20 doctors reported on their patients, such as DC, but the national total includes all states, properly weighted.
CDC also reports the total primary care doctor visits in many states, and I estimated visits in other states to apply this CDC percentage,
Here are maps and a table of fever cases,and CDC's graph comparing this year to past years.
"Influenza-Like Illness" (ILI)
Outpatient Visits with 100F Fever and Cough or Sore Throat