A highly decorated German scientist has published a study that has challenged one of the main metrics in the fight against COVID-19.

The researcher behind the study is Dr. Hendrik Streeck, he is the Professor for Virology, and the Director of the Institute of Virology and HIV Research, at the University of Bonn. Streeck is a highly regarded virus researcher, including work as an epidemiologist and clinical trialist. He is an 8-time Young Investigator Award winner, and belongs to the American Society for Microbiology, American Association of Immunologists, and the German Association of University Professors.

Basically, Dr. Streeck's credentials are beyond reproach.

Dr. Streeck and his team descended upon the German city of Heinsberg early in their country's outbreak. Heinsberg has been called "Germany's Wuhan" because of how hard the city was hit by the virus. The team conducted multiple studies in the region, some of which have helped shed light on some of the major questions about COVID-19.

The major aspect of Streeck's research centers around the death rate from COVID-19. German newspaper Welt says the research shows the death-rate in the area is five times lower than what the rest of Germany shows. The interim research says the fatality rate in their study is only .37% of those infected, and only .06% of the region's total population. 

At the time of the study, Johns Hopkins University reported the case fatality rate in Germany was as high as 1.98%.

One of the major metrics that the researchers found was the depth of the infection. Through their research, they discovered that about 14% of the population had already contracted the virus. Showing that many more people have been infected, without serious outcomes, than previously thought.

If the results from Germany are the same across the rest of the world, that means society is closer to herd immunity that previously believed. Doctors say once a society achieves 60% herd immunity, the virus will be relativity controlled.