The official numbers for those infected with coronavirus — more than 14,000 worldwide as of Feb. 1 — is significantly too low, according to a medical research paper published Friday.
The shocking results of the study, which was performed by experts at the University of Hong Kong, found that as of Jan. 25, more than 75,000 people in Wuhan had likely already contracted the disease, a number nearly 100 times greater than what the official record stated. At the time, there were just 761 reported confirmations of the disease in the Wuhan area.
Even more alarming is the fact that the disease doubles in the number of infections every 6.4 days, the experts found.
That means, if the scientists are correct, more than 150,000 people living in and around Wuhan are infected with the disease.
What that means for the rest of the world is uncertain. However, given the lengthy incubation period, and the fact that the disease has already undergone genetic mutations, the official numbers likely do not reflect the actual number of people infected with coronavirus.
According to Business Insider, the study accounted for the lockdown on Wuhan and the surrounding cities. Unfortunately, they concluded the effects of the travel ban would be "negligible."
The study was published Friday in The Lancet.
However, the study was not the first to suggest the actual number of infected is significantly too low.
The Imperial College London found in an analysis several weeks ago that the number of infected, as reported by the Chinese government, was too low — by a factor of 35.
On Saturday, the 8th person was diagnosed with coronavirus in the U.S. So far, more than 300 people have officially died from the disease, all in China.