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University of Miami researchers said Friday that about six percent of Miami-Dade County residents – about 165,000 people – had anti-coronavirus antibodies indicating previous infection, a total much higher than the 10 926 county cases confirmed by Florida health officials.
A two-week county-wide study of 1,400 participants found that about half of those surveyed were positive for antibodies to a past infection and did not report any symptoms until two weeks before to be reviewed, reported the Miami Herald.
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The results of serological tests could help scientists and health officials understand the spread of the virus and how quickly cities can start to loosen movement restrictions. Serology tests look for antibodies, which are specific proteins produced by the body in response to infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the results supported the social distance guidelines already in place.
“Whatever measures we will take to open up, especially the outdoor spaces, will be done taking these measures into account,” he told reporters on Friday, the newspaper said. “You are not going to be able to approach. You are going to have a social distance. “
To account for the limitations of the antibody test, the MU researchers used statistical methods to determine the actual number of infections between 4.4% and 7.9% of the county’s population before concluding that 6 % was the best estimate.
They also determined a margin of error of 123,000 infections in the lower extremity and 221,000 in the upper extremity. The results show that Miami-Dade is far from the 60 percent infection threshold necessary to achieve collective immunity, referring to when a sufficient part of the population is infected to slow transmission.
Similar tests in New York – the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States – revealed that 21% of residents were positive, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed earlier this week. The results suggest that more than 1.7 million New Yorkers have had the virus, according to MarketWatch.
Statewide, New York has reported 263,000 COVID-19 cases and 15,740 deaths.
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In California, serological tests administered in Santa Clara County have revealed that the actual number of cases of coronavirus may be 85 times higher than what health authorities have counted. Researchers at Stanford University tested 3,330 adults and children and found that the population prevalence of COVID-19 ranged from 2.49% to 4.16%.
In Los Angeles County, health officials have found that more than 4% of residents have anti-coronavirus antibodies in their blood, indicating possible exposure in the past. That means that between 221,000 and 442,000 adults in the region have already been infected, according to a study by the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
David Aaro and Alexandria Hein of Fox News contributed to this report.