Covid-19 Dwell Updates: Newest Information and Evaluation
The study examined blood samples from 28,500 dialysis patients in 46 states, the first such nationwide analysis.
The results were roughly in line with an analysis due to be published next week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It found that about 10 percent of blood samples from locations across the country contained antibodies to the virus.
Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the CDC, referred to that analysis when he told a congressional committee this week that 90 percent of the people in the country are still susceptible to the virus, a CDC spokeswoman said.
An accurate assessment of the country’s immunity is important as President Trump, working with his new medical advisor, Dr. Scott Atlas, for the time being, has promoted the idea of herd immunity by lifting bans, mask-wearing and socially distancing mandates. The plan would be to let the virus flush through the population while trying to protect the most vulnerable.
Most public health experts say that such a policy would result in hundreds of thousands more deaths because it is impossible to protect all Americans who are elderly or who have underlying conditions like diabetes and heart disease that increase the likelihood of a person becoming seriously ill will or die.
The study of dialysis patients, carried out by scientists at Stanford University, found large differences in antibody levels across the country. In metropolitan New York, including New Jersey, antibody levels were above 25 percent of the samples tested. In the western United States, they were below 5 percent.
Overall, the researchers estimated the prevalence to be around 9.3 percent.
The implication, said Dr. Redfield, in a statement, is that most of the people in the country are still susceptible to the virus and should therefore continue to take action, e.g. For example, wearing masks, staying six feet away from other people, washing hands frequently, staying at home when sick and “being smart about crowds”.