What we’re learning from Iceland this week is as fascinating as it is crucial to fighting the coronavirus epidemic: That somewhere in the neighborhood of half of everyone testing positive for the coronavirus will show absolutely no symptoms.
– As of March 25, Iceland has administered 12,615 tests. – Of those tests, Iceland has found 802 confirmed cases. – While it might not sound like a lot, in a sparsely-populated nation of around 364,000 citizens, it’s an impressive number. They’ve nearly tested 3.4 percent of the entire country (compared to the United States, and according to the COVID-19 Project data tracker: we’ve tested 432,655 of our 327 million citizens, or just a tenth of one percent of our country’s population). Iceland currently claims to have tested more citizens per capita] than any other country in the world.
Needless to say, Iceland’s efforts are revealing fascinating and potentially lifesaving details about the virus. And via BuzzFeed News, it’s how they came to the striking conclusion about symptom rates, emphasis ours:
“Early results from deCode Genetics indicate that a low proportion of the general population has contracted the virus and that about half of those who tested positive are non-symptomatic,” said [Iceland’s chief epidemiologist Thorolfur] Guðnason. “The other half displays very moderate cold-like symptoms.”
Consider: Right now, in America, if you don’t have a fever, or aches, or any other cold or flu-like symptoms, nobody would tell you not to go to the store. Nobody would tell you not to leave your…