Los Angeles health authorities reveal for the first time: hundreds of thousands of residents may have contracted Corona without their knowledge
A joint study by USC University and the Department of Public Health shows that antibodies were found in the blood system in about 5.6% of subjects. The head of the department explained: “Serological tests show that hundreds of thousands have already been able to produce antibodies to Corona, because they have been infected with the virus at some point in recent months.”
Hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles County residents may have contracted the corona virus, even if they did not feel the symptoms associated with COVID-19, according to preliminary results from a local study examining how the body produces the virus.
Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) worked in tandem with members of the provincial public health department, examining 863 randomized blood samples from residents (who, of course, were asked to volunteer for research). In 2.8% to 5.6% of the subjects, antibodies to the virus that were already present in the blood system were detected, Department Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer explained.
This range, 2.8% to 5.6%, translates to 221,000 to 442,000 residents who may have been infected with the virus and did not know it at all. It is important to explain that the research was done earlier this month, so the conclusions are relevant for April 9 only. Here or there, there are far more cases of Corona infection than what has been reported so far in the province, about 14,000.
USC-LA County Study: Early Results of Antibody Testing Suggest Number of #COVID-19 Infections Far Exceeds Number of Confirmed Cases in Los Angeles County. Visit https://t.co/ykORK5zq65 for more pic.twitter.com/2Yw6mZ6D5j
— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) April 20, 2020
“Although I report thousands of people diagnosed with the virus every day, serological tests show that hundreds of thousands have already been able to produce antibodies to Corona, because they have been infected with the virus at some point over the past few months,” Dr. Ferrer explained, adding that the study may indicate that Corona patients in the entire U.S. are up to 55 times higher than reported so far – about 800,000.
According to USC researchers, more research is needed to determine whether an antibody-resistant person is also resistant to infection and, if so, to what extent.
This study is one of the first carried out in the US during the current crisis, and although there is a marked improvement in the virus detection system, it is important to explain that serological tests are completely different. That they did not even know that they were carriers).
Dr. Ferrer wanted to make it clear that “the existence of antibodies in some body does not necessarily indicate that they are immune. We have to investigate the issue further, ”she added.
Although this is a representative study, it is worth mentioning that the size of the sample – a few hundred people – cannot determine anything unambiguously. However, Dr. Ferrer noted some interesting points when it comes to demographic distribution.
Of the approximately 900 subjects, about 6% of those with antibodies were male, compared to only 2% among women. The age group shows that antibodies were found in 2.4% of 18 to 34 year olds, 5.6% of those aged 35 to 54 and 4.3% of those aged 55 and over.
Antibodies have also been found in 7% of African American subjects, 6% of white subjects, 4.2% of Asian, and 2.5% of Hispanic subjects.