August 10, 2020
Antibody study: Is COVID-19 more widespread than thought?
RIVERSIDE – (INT) – Preliminary results from a COVID-19 antibody testing study show that up to five-times more people contracted the virus than was previously known.

Results of random testing done over two weekends this month are still being analyzed.

Preliminary results from the study:

- 1,726 individuals were tested and 101 showed they had developed antibodies for COVID-19, this is a positivity rate of 5.9 percent.

- 1,621 tested negative; Four had unclear results.

- Based on that data, it is estimated there have been between 118,000 and 175,400 infections in Riverside County.

As of Monday, confirmed infections since the onset of the pandemic in Riverside County were 35,187.

County health officials say the upshot of the finding is that many people are walking around with the virus without any symptoms, and then easily spread it to others when not wearing a mask or keeping six feet of distance.

Antibodies are part of the body’s defense against infections. Antibodies develop and stay in the blood even after the infection is over.

“We believe the number and variety of participants shows the study successfully recruited an excellent representation of the community and accurately reflects the prevalence of the antibody in Riverside County,” said Dr. Tait Stevens, with Riverside University Health System and co-author of the study.
Story Date: July 27, 2020
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