new study conducted by the University of Southern California in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Department of Health, indicates the presence of antibodies to COVID-19 from 2.8 to 5.6% of the Los Angeles County population, suggesting that between 221,000 and 442,000 people are infected. 55 times more people than was confirmed by testing. This is the second short-term antibody study in California, which suspects that infections are much wider than previously thought, and is a good excuse for continuing social distance measures.
Los Angeles County study provides some good news if antibody testing turns out to be accurate (we’re not really sure they show for sure at this point(especially from the point of view of immunity), since the mortality rate from this infection is actually much lower than the official data on the diagnosed case suggest. The level of infection detected by antibody testing in the USC study is also surprisingly close to found in a Stanford study published last week about the number of infections in Santa Clara County that found that between 48,000 and 81,000 people in this part of California could recover and recover from this infection.
While a Los Angeles study found that 2.8 to 5.6% had antibodies that took into account the margin of error and extrapolation of the results to the entire population, a Stanford study found that 2.5 to 4.2% of the population carried antibodies to infection. These numbers are based on the characteristics of the test sets, as well as the demographic composition of the tested sample.
None of the new research papers has yet been peer-reviewed, so you should take them with a little salt. But the close relationship between the numbers in both, along with the early results of similar studies conducted around the world, seems to suggest that the number of actual cases of COVID-19 is far from the published numbers, which usually include only confirmed diagnoses – most of which represent people with moderate to severe symptoms.
A higher level of undetected infection should definitely not be taken as a sign that COVID-19 is less serious than it seemed; This new information only means that its transmission from people who did not have external symptoms and who subsequently never sought medical help or who were identified for quarantine or contact tracing was probably much higher than anyone expected.
This means that social distance measures are more important than ever, as it is probably more difficult than ever to determine who can be a passive virus carrier that leads to COVID-19 without realizing it. In the end, an understanding of the nature of the spread should help clarify measures to avoid the greatest potential exposure risks, but for now, this new information simply means that COVID-19 is much more effective at moving people without signs of early warning than we previously understood.