Antibody study suggests Covid-19 is far more widespread than thought

A new study in California has found the number of people infected with coronavirus may be tens of times higher than previously thought. The study from Stanford University, which was released Friday and has yet to be peer reviewed, tested samples from 3,330 people in Santa Clara county and found the virus was 50 to 85 times more common than official figures indicated. To ease the sprawling lockdowns currently in place to stop the spread of Covid-19, health officials must first determine how many people have been infected. Large studies of the prevalence of the virus within a region could play a key role, researchers say. ____________________________________________________ More on coronavirus: ____________________________________________________ “This has implications for learning how far we are in the course of the epidemic,” said Eran Bendavid, the associate professor of medicine at Stanford University who led the study. The study was conducted by identifying antibodies in healthy individuals through a finger prick test, which indicated whether they had already contracted and recovered from the virus. Regardless of climate, adopt protective measures if you live in, or travel to an area reporting COVID-19. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your handsand avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. Bydoing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. Once your hands are cleaned, you should dry them thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer. Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature) because of infection with the new coronavirus. This is because it takes between 2 and 10 days before people who are infected become sick and develop a fever. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth). People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus. From previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages. At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus. There is some limited evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus. These include bleach/chlorine-based disinfectants, either solvents, 75 percent ethanol, peracetic acid and chloroform. At the time of the study, Santa Clara county had 1,094 confirmed cases of Covid-19, resulting in 50 deaths. The study confirms the widely-held belief that far more people than originally thought have been infected with the coronavirus, said Arthur Reingold, an epidemiology professor at UC Berkeley who was not involved in the study, but it doesn’t mean the shelter-in-place order will be lifted any time soon. Even with the adjusted rate of infection as found by the study, only 3% of the population has coronavirus – that means 97% does not. It is also unclear if the study, conducted exclusively on residents of Santa Clara county, is representative of the rest of the United States, researchers said.

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