The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that about 25 million Americans may have contracted the coronavirus.
This newly updated figure is 10 times higher than the actual number of confirmed cases, which, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, stands around 2,407,167 at the time of this writing.
What are the details?
CDC Director Robert Redfield told reporters during a news briefing that surveys of blood samples from people around the U.S. indicate that the spread of COVID-19 could be much higher than what is currently assumed.
Redfield explained that many of these people may have been asymptomatic — exhibiting little to no symptoms whatsoever.
"This virus causes so much asymptomatic infection," he explained. "We probably recognized about 10% of the outbreak."
He added that based on the collected samples, anywhere between 5% and 8% have been infected with the deadly virus.
"This outbreak is not over," he warned. "This pandemic is not over. The most powerful tool that we have, powerful weapon, is social distancing. We have responsibility to practice the social mitigation strategies to protect the vulnerable, to protect the elderly."
Case counts have grown exponentially in the last several weeks in areas such as Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and more. According to The Hill, all states on the list are where the "average daily number of confirmed cases has doubled or more in the past two weeks."
What about the second wave?
Redfield warned that the U.S. isn't even in its second wave yet, and insisted that the first wave of the deadly pandemic is simply morphing before our eyes.
"We're not talking about a second wave right now, we're still in the first wave," he admitted. "And that first wave is taking different shapes."