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Covid-19: More than half of people infected with Omicron may not know it




Of the 210 people who recently had antibodies suggesting they had the Omicron variant of covid-19, more than half were unaware they had the virus.


August 17, 2022

More than half of people infected with Omicron may not know they have the virus

More than half of people infected with Omicron may not know they have the virus

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More than half of those infected with Omicron COVID-19 Variants may be unaware that they are carrying the virus, increasing the risk of inadvertently spreading the infection.

“Most people with covid-19 are unaware of their infection status, even though they can be particularly aggressively transmitted, which could be a major contributor to the ongoing pandemic.” says. Susan Chen At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in California.

Cheng and her colleagues took blood samples from 2,479 people working or enrolled in medical centers in Los Angeles. At least two of her samples were taken for each participant. The first was drawn before December 15, 2021. This is just before the region experienced a surge in covid-19 infections caused by Omicron. Mutant.

Subsequent samples were taken between December 15, 2021 and May 4, 2022. During this time, omicron became the dominant variant, and several variants appeared, such as BA.4 and BA.5.

Of the participants, 210 were found to have been infected with covid-19 between the initial blood draw and subsequent samples, based on levels of coronavirus-specific antibodies in their blood.

To ensure that this antibody response was not induced by vaccination (94% of the 210 participants had received at least one vaccination), the researchers specifically tested the participants’ IgG I checked the -N level. IgG-N, an antibody against the structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2, is elevated upon natural exposure to coronavirus but remains low after vaccination.

More than half (56%) of the 210 participants recently infected with covid-19, based on their IgG-N levels, confirmed that they were infected when their blood was sampled a second time or later. I didn’t realize that. .

One in ten (10%) of these participants said they experienced mild symptoms, but they were due to other infections such as the common cold.

Cheng said the findings highlight the importance of what individuals do to reduce their chances of contracting coronavirus, even if they don’t think they are infected.

“Especially after being deliberately exposed to COVID-19 or developing mild symptoms that may not be caused by COVID-19, careful self-examination and precautions should be taken…these are , actions that everyone is empowered to take and that can make a difference.

Further work is needed to confirm whether these findings apply beyond the single center studied in Los Angeles.

“Other centers, especially in other parts of the world, ideally with larger numbers, will look at similar data and see if they can find similar or different results. It helps,” says Cheng.

Journal reference: JAMA network open, DOI: doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.27241

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