Charlottesville, VA. (WVIR) – the actual number of Virginians infected with coronavirus may be at least twice that number with a positive test result, according to a new study conducted by the University of Virginia health and Department of health Virginia (VDH).
UVA Health is conducting a study of blood taken from Virginia in the state, looking for COVID-19 antibodies. Antibodies will only be present in the blood of people who have been infected with a virus. Researchers say that would give the state a more complete picture of how widespread the infection is in the Commonwealth. More than 4,000 people were screened.
“Only about two to two and a half percent of people are positive,” UVA health epidemiologist Elizabeth Rogawsky McQuaid said. “So this means that the vast majority of Virginia is still susceptible to the virus.”
The figures also show that some vulnerable groups had been significantly affected. According to preliminary results, the Hispanic community has suffered the most.
“About 14 percent of Hispanic individuals were positive compared with only two, two and a half percent overall,” Rogawsky McQuaid said. “So there are, of course, subgroups of our population that is extremely vulnerable at a higher risk.”
Preliminary findings indicate that at least 150,000 Virginians have been infected with COVID-19 at some point. What will be almost two times more positive results than VDH realize. This is partly because many of the infected people may show mild symptoms, and in some cases no symptoms at all.
“Many of the people who were with the positive result is actually not to report the disease, which would be consistent with COVID, so it seems that there are many asymptomatic infections,” Rogawsky McQuaid explained.
The results of the study will help to determine VDH subgroups that require additional testing, including an increase in testing asymptomatic persons. It also means that a significant portion of the population not been exposed, and still in danger.
“You may have heard the term “herd immunity”, so when you know that a significant portion of the population vulnerable, and you can expect that things will go down,” Rogawsky McQuaid explained. “One main conclusion-of course, that we are very far from that.”
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