U.S. sets covid-19 death record as researchers point to asymptomatic cases as a major source of infections
By Brittany Shammas and Ben Guarino
As the United States marked another grim milestone Thursday with more than 4,000 covid-19 deaths reported in a single day, federal disease trackers said research suggests that people without symptoms transmit more than half of all cases of the novel coronavirus.
“Those findings are now in bold, italics and underlined,” said Jay C. Butler, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s deputy director for infectious diseases and a co-author of the study published in the journal JAMA Network Open.
As disease specialists had forecast for months, the coronavirus is spreading with speed and ferocity in the new year, with Thursday’s single-day record for deaths underscoring the threat. In the past seven days, U.S. infections, hospitalizations and deaths have hit record highs. Cases reached a record 277,135 on Saturday. And by Thursday, more than 132,000 people were hospitalized in the nation with covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.