The first COVID-19 death in the United States originally happened many weeks before the reported death, revealed a new report on late Tuesday. California's Santa Clara County's medical officials said that the first US death was connected to the coronavirus fatality that happened weeks earlier than was previously believed.
The two deaths that happened on February 6 and 17 of the same month were the cases that were not thought to be COVID-19 related. However further testing revealed that indeed they were coronavirus related, the county medical examiner said, reported NBC News
A fatality reported on February 29 in the Washington state was –until now –believed to be the first US death caused by the novel coronavirus. In a statement, County of Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner said that they received confirmation from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the tissue samples from both cases were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19.
It was not until March 9 that the county reported coronavirus deaths, it revealed on Tuesday, after an investigation that at least three people had died from the illness before that.
Limited tests were available
Those three deaths happened during a time when there were limited tests done, as available via CDC said the report. "Testing criteria set by the CDC at the time-restricted testing to only individuals with a known travel history and who sought medical care for specific symptoms,"
Also, antibody study that was made in the Santa Clara County found evidence pointing out that coronavirus infection was much more widespread than the number indicated by the reports. Results of the analysis last week estimated that about 2.5 - 4.2 percent of the area residents had antibodies. This means that they acquired immunity after they were infected by the coronavirus.
The US confirmed more than 825,300 cases as of today and deaths inching towards 45,100 as this report is being written, with 75,673 recoveries. 4,163,464 COVID-19 tests were done in the US as of today.