A study led by the National Institutes of Health, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Pittsburgh will examine how many adults in the United States have been infected by the novel coronavirus but did not know they had it. Researchers will analyze blood samples from 10,000 adults to see if they have the antibodies to the virus, which indicates a prior infection.


The results will demonstrate where the novel coronavirus has spread undetected in the United States and provide insights into the types of populations that are most affected.

“To understand the seroprevalence of antibodies is really important for developing our public health approaches to helping to manage the pandemic,” said Robert Kimberly, M.D., the study’s principal investigator and the director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at UAB. “It is a way to begin to understand the biology of the human response to COVID-19. We do not know whether COVID-19 is brand-new or whether it has been around for a while.”

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