A recent study on the antibodies of volunteers from California, US, has revealed that the number of cases of coronavirus could have been higher than the reported numbers. The antibody tests on around 3,300 people revealed that there are signs of recovery from coronavirus among 2.5 and four percent of the blood samples from the volunteers.
The test was done on the people of Santa Clara County, California. There are around two million people living in Santa Clara. The findings of the study would mean that on a larger scale 48,000 and 81,000 people of the county would have fought off the coronavirus in the body. The numbers are far more than the actual numbers that were officially recorded in the state. This study says that it is proving that many more have been infected than what is actually believed.
The antibody tests also known as serology tests analyse the blood sample from the people which is different from the coronavirus swab tests which is conducted by taking samples from the throat or nose.
The critical question of immunity
The two research teams from California is addressing one of the most critical questions about coronavirus immunity. "Our findings suggest that there is somewhere between 50- and 80-fold more infections in our county than what's known by the number of cases than are reported by our department of public health," Dr. Eran Bendavid, the associate professor of medicine at Stanford University told ABC News.
During the project, the volunteers were invited through targeted ads online. It was checked if they have protective antibodies in their blood by conducting the test. The volunteers were tested in three drive-thru sites in the county. An epidemiologist at Boston Children's Hospital and an ABC News contributor, Dr Brownstein said that results from this particular county were not representative of the numbers across the US. He also said that the online ads to find participants could mess with the candidate pool.
He added that the new test will be "adding to this confirmation of what we've expected, which is a much larger number of cases than we ever anticipated." The researchers believe that the numbers of coronavirus patients have been undercounted throughout the country because of a lack of proper testing.
Talking about the antibodies found in the volunteers the researchers say that even though there is no complete guarantee that there would be a long-term immunity against the coronavirus but has increased the hope that there will be a certain degree of immunity in the recovered patients. The link between the positive antibody test and immunity is still unclear.
The World Health Organisation has cautioned that the recovery from the coronavirus doesn't mean a universal immunity and that the study of the immunity against the coronavirus is still ongoing. The understanding of the immunity from coronavirus is still unknown according to the WHO. A similar test of antibody research is happening in Los Angeles as well.
Some beaches in Cali reopen: Thousands swarm within minutes
California and some other states in the US have started to reopen the beaches and parks under restriction and limitations. Beaches and parks in Santa Cruz reopened in California. A week prior to the Easter holidays Santa Cruz had issued a restriction on the county beaches, parks and other recreational spaces.
Several hard-hit regions in the state remain closed. The stay-at-home order is still prevailing. California is the first to report a community transmission in the country. Soon after that in March, the state issued the order to hopefully reduce the spike of coronavirus cases. The cases had also slowed down recently. Places were six feet distance is impossible like basketball courts, skate parks and playgrounds will remain closed in California.