Early USC COVID-19 Antibody Tests Shows Safer 0.1-0.3% Fatality Rate

Based on the results of the first round of COVID-19 antibody testing, the USC research team estimates that approximately 4.1% of the LA county’s adult population has an antibody to the virus. Adjusting this estimate for the statistical margin of error implies about 2.8% to 5.6% of the county’s adult population has an antibody to the virus — which translates to approximately 221,000 to 442,000 adults in the county who have been infected. That estimate is 28 to 55 times higher than the 7,994 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported to the county at the time of the study in early April. The number of COVID-related deaths in the county has now surpassed 600.

This is about the level of fatality that was expected from estimates posted at Nextbigfuture in March. Nextbigfuture noted in March and notes again that having a 0.1 to 0.2% would put the fatality rate near the 0.1% of seasonal flu. However, COVID-19 still can get four times worse because ICUs getting overrun. The people who get extremely sick is far higher than flu. We need to protect vulnerable people and increase hygiene and improve procedures. The economy can be carefully opened but with masks worn by everyone, hand cleaning, surface cleaning and temperature checks and mass testing.

More on USC/L.A. County testing
With help from medical students from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, USC researchers and public health officials conducted drive-thru antibody testing on April 10 and 11 at six sites.

Gottlieb no Re-opening

We should have more activities outside. Having outdoor events is safer.

Antibody tests have higher false positives. They are good for general population studies, but they are not a tool for accurately determining who is safe to return to work.

Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

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