Most Americans are still vulnerable to coronavirus infection, according to the findings of a study published Friday that echo recent comments made by a top official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study, published in The Lancet and led by University of Stanford scientists and Ascend Clinical laboratory, which processes lab tests for kidney dialysis patients, estimated that less than 10% of Americans have antibodies to the novel virus.
Researchers for the study analyzed blood plasma samples from 28,500 randomly selected dialysis patients who used one of the laboratory’s 1,300 centers across 46 states, finding that only about 8% had developed antibodies. Adjusting for the general population, the researchers determined that about 9.3% of the public has antibodies.
However, the prevalence rate changed for different parts of the country. The rate ranged from 3.5% in the West to 27.2% in the Northeast.
Minority groups, meanwhile, disproportionately had antibodies; about 16% of those who live in predominately Black communities and 11% in majority Hispanic communities. In majority White communities, on the other hand, about 4% had antibodies. Minority groups have been hit hard by the virus, with data showing a higher incidence of COVID-19 among Blacks and Hispanics.
The findings come after Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, warned last week that most Americans likely remain vulnerable to coronavirus infection and its potential outcomes.
“In order to understand the proportion of the population that’s been infected with COVID-19, and what proportion remains at risk, CDC is currently performing large-scale serology testing across the United States,” Redfield said on Wednesday during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing.
“Preliminary results appear to show that most Americans have not been infected with the virus and are still vulnerable to the infection, serious illness and death,” he added.
Fox News’s Kayla Rivas contributed to this report.