Home Health Surveillance is underestimating the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic – The Lancet

Surveillance is underestimating the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic – The Lancet

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So far in the COVID-19 pandemic, surveillance systems are not monitoring ill health and long-term implications of COVID-19, only deaths are reported. Most are also not tracking all cases, only positive tests are counted. Underestimating the number of cases means inadequate control of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and failure to support those who do not recover quickly from COVID-19. We must universally agree and implement surveillance case definitions for infection and recovery.

Across the world, some people with symptoms of COVID-19 are not being tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection because tests are either not available or inaccessible, particularly in low-resourced contexts. Some people do not seek testing when they experience symptoms of COVID-19 because of worries about income, caring responsibilities, or stigma implications of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 and having to isolate. Some people might test negative, particularly if testing takes place too early or too late in the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

  • Caruana G
  • Croxatto A
  • Coste AT
  • et al.
Diagnostic strategies for SARS-CoV-2 infection and interpretation of microbiological results.