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Home / Health / The study found that by the summer, 12% of Orange County residents had the coronavirus – Orange County Register

The study found that by the summer, 12% of Orange County residents had the coronavirus – Orange County Register



A well-designed study of blood samples from Orange County residents found that 12% of people have coronavirus antibodies, which means their immune system fights the virus at some point, and the infection rate is higher than the official number of cases Seven times out.

The ratio is highest among Latino residents and low-income adults, and lowest among non-Latino white and black residents and residents with annual incomes of more than $100,000.

The results also showed that the virus is extremely contagious and more widespread than the case data suggests, and the mortality rate is much lower.

Serological testing was performed on Kareo workers in April. (Provided by Kareo)

Tim Bruckner, research leader and associate professor of public health at the University of California, Irvine, said: “The most surprising among researchers is the high seropositivity rate for COVID.” “We doubt, If we focus on the entire community instead of just those who ask for testing, there will be more cases, but we don’t know it has spread widely.”

Although more than 10% of Orange County residents tested in the summer have COVID-19 antibodies, there is still a long way to go compared to “group immunity” because so many people have antibodies that the virus is exhausted A new host. Scientists say that approximately 60% to 70% of the population must be immune to eliminate infections.

“We are far from herd immunity,” Bruckner said. “Our views are very close, and the claim that the crisis will soon turn into peace has not been confirmed by data.”

More evidence of health inequality

Although data from active infections have shown that low-income and Latino communities have been hit hard by infections, this study highlights this in a powerful way.

The prevalence of Latino residents is 17%, and that of low-income residents is 15%. The study said this may be due to relatively dense housing conditions and working in environments that do not allow physical distance.

This is consistent with a large number of swab tests conducted in low-income Latino communities in Anaheim and Santa Ana.

“In a city like Santa Ana, our positive rate is as high as 30%,” said Bernadette Boden-Albala, director of the Public Health Program at the University of California, Irvine, social epidemiologist and research leader.

Boden-Albara said the Orange County Health Department worked with non-profit organizations such as Hispanic Health Access to curb the abnormally high rate of positive test results in hot spots in the county. Such campaigns have brought more testing and resources to communities where many residents cannot work from home and have little access to healthcare.

The GUARDaHeart Foundation and Aliso Viejo’s Coast Hills Church sponsored COVID-19 serological antibody testing in July. (Photo by Mindy Schauer of Orange County Registration Bureau/SCNG)

On October 6, public health officials installed the Coronavirus Parallax Tracking System in the state’s four-level pandemic surveillance system. The system looks at the state’s 58 counties’ case rates and test positive rates and other indicators, and determines when it can Reopen.

More common and less lethal

The case data (taken from busy patients at diagnostic test sites, clinics, and hospitals) concluded that the COVID death rate for elderly people 65 and older in Orange County is about 10%.

“That’s another part of the story, it’s very interesting,” Bruckner said. “Obviously, COVID is a killer, and I never want to say that. That is to say, as you count more cases with asymptomatic and mild symptoms, the fatality rate will decrease.

“The point is, based on your different methods of calculating COVID deaths, we overestimate the deaths in OC by 4 to 10 times.”

In short, the study estimates that 1 in every 1,000 infected people will die among people under 65, and about 10 in every 1,000 people over 65 will die.

“According to our estimates, this means that 1 in 100 adults over 65 died of COVID,” Bruckner said. “It’s very serious. But it’s not 10%. It’s an estimate based on who is in the clinic.”

Recommended suggestions

The study said that in Orange County, the widespread epidemic of COVID requires continuous public health measures: physical distancing, correct and consistent use of masks, ventilation, and hand hygiene.

Moreover, in addition to contact tracing, county health authorities “may also wish to consider active surveillance for new infections.” This will involve approximately 800 to 1,000 tests in a representative sample of residents each week, as well as targeted components for high-risk groups or locations (such as nursing home residents, workers in high-density environments, and severely affected communities).

The study said: “Unlike clinical or hospital-based strategies, this surveillance will provide a biased estimate of the new SARS-CoV-2 infection rate.”

Finally, since the death rate estimates have been reduced several times, “the updated estimates should provide a reference for the broader policy debate in the United States regarding the relative benefits and limitations of various SARS-CoV-2 mitigation strategies.”

How to do it

UCI researchers co-led the project with OC Health Care Agency, which provided funding, testing locations, and research and investigation methods.

Its design is more comprehensive and stricter than the previous version, and it includes more people than people tested in Los Angeles or Santa Clara County. The researchers came to the homes of people who were unable to drive across the site. They focused specifically on underserved communities and did not initially indicate that they would provide blood or serological tests to avoid pre-selecting people who might want it.

Starting from the pandemic, later than similar studies conducted in Los Angeles and Santa Clara Counties in the spring, from July 10 to August 16, fingers and blood were drawn from 2,979 adults.

Bruckner said: “Because many people have it, but don’t know, it supports the idea that COVID can be a silent communicator.” Public health strategy.”


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