Story at a glance
- Researchers conducting a study of COVID-19 and the effect of vaccines identified nearly 2,500 blood samples from patients just before and after the start of the wave of omicron.
- They identified 210 people who were likely infected given the amount of antibodies in their blood.
- Surveys and interviews with participants at the time showed that about 44 percent of those whose blood tested positive for the virus realized they had been infected.
According to a new study, most people infected with the ommicron variant of COVID-19 were unaware they had it.
“More than one in two people infected with omicron didn’t know they had it,” the study’s lead author and a Cedars-Sinai researcher Sandy Y. Joung said in a press release. “Awareness will be the key to enabling us to overcome this pandemic.”
Researchers conducting a study on COVID-19 and the effect of vaccines identified nearly 2,500 blood samples from patients just before and after the onset of the wave of omicron — identified 210 people who likely had levels of antibody in their blood.
Surveys and interviews with participants at the time showed that about 44 percent of those whose blood tested positive for the virus realized they had been infected.
Only 10 percent of those who said they were unaware of an infection reported COVID-19 symptoms.
The study’s findings are in line with previous studies that have estimated that between 25 percent and 80 percent of people infected with the virus will experience no symptoms, the researchers note.
Researchers hope their findings will motivate people to stay vigilant and get tested for the virus when exposed to an infected person.
“We hope people will read these findings and think, ‘I was just at a meeting where someone tested positive,’ or, ‘I was just starting to feel a little bad. Maybe I should do a quick test,'” said the corresponding author of the study, Susan Cheng, director of the Institute for Research on Healthy Aging in the Department of Cardiology at the Smidt Heart Institute in Cedars-Sinai.
“The better we understand our own risks, the better we will be at protecting the health of both the public and ourselves,” Cheng added.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed their guidelines for COVID-19 late last week. Among other updates, the CDC no longer recommends quarantine periods for those infected, screening or testing asymptomatic individuals with no known exposures unless they are in a high-risk environment.
Just over 67 percent of the total U.S. population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Published on Aug 17, 2022
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