140 million Americans have had coronavirus, CDC estimates

About 140 million Americans have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus through the end of January, according to an estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The percentage of individuals who have antibodies to COVID-19, known as seroprevalence, is 43.3 percent for the total U.S. population, the CDC study found, much higher than regularly cited infection rates.

The data for the study was collected from late December to late January and relied on tests of nearly 72,000 samples.

The percentage of those with antibodies to the virus was lower in older age groups, with children having a seroprevalence of about 58 percent compared to 23 percent for those over the age of 65, the study found.

The CDC estimated the seroprevalence by collecting about 1,750 blood tests at 52 sites roughly every four weeks. Specimens for the study were collected from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

These samples were then tested for anti-nucleocapsid antibodies, which are developed in response to previous infection but not in response to vaccination.

The study has been ongoing since August 2020, with 28 other rounds of data having been released so far.

According to the most recent data, about 21 states have an estimated seroprevalence around 50 percent. These states include Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Tags coronavirus infection COVID-19

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