California Antibody Findings Could Be A Game-Changer For COVID-19

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California Antibody Findings Could Be A Game-Changer For COVID-19.

So we’ve been seeing rumors that California, for some reason, might have had more coronavirus cases than we’ve thought because the pandemic just hasn’t been as bad there. A new antibody study could shed some light on this mystery:

Many more people may have been infected by the coronavirus than previously believed, a new study shows.

A recent study tested the blood of 3,300 volunteers in Santa Clara County, Calif., and found that between 2.5 and 4 percent of them had the antibodies that show they’ve recovered from COVID-19.

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In a county the size of Santa Clara, where the population numbers 2 million, that rate of infection would mean between 48,000 and 81,000 people have fought off the virus — far more than the 1,000 who have officially tested positive there.

“Our findings suggest that there is somewhere between 50- and 80-fold more infections in our county than what’s known by the number of cases that are reported by our department of public health,” Dr. Eran Bendavid, the associate professor of medicine at Stanford University who led the study, said in an interview with ABC News.

Now why is that a big deal? Because it means that more people have had coronavirus and that means the death rate is much lower than we thought it might be. Also, that means that many more people already have the antibody protection against infection. And that is YUGE news. But, we’re still not sure just how immune someone is once they’ve gotten coronavirus and survived:

The World Health Organization cautioned Friday that it’s not yet known whether having survived the deadly virus brings a universal immunity to reinfection.

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“These antibody tests will be able to measure that level of serology presence, that level of antibodies, but that does not mean that somebody with antibodies” is immune, said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the head of the WHO’s emerging diseases unit.

And yes, I know we can’t trust WHO on most things. Still, it’s important to note.

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California Antibody Findings Could Be A Game-Changer For COVID-19.

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