A new study reveals that Coronavirus was present in the United States in December 2019. The first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the US on January 21, 2020. But a new antibody testing study reveals that it was present in the country weeks before it was officially detected. The National Institute of Health Study analyzed 24,000 stored blood samples across the country from January 2 to March 18, 2020.
Coronavirus could Likely be Present in the United States in December 2019
Antibodies against the Coronavirus were detected in nine patients through two different serology tests. It was confirmed through a paper published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. The United States is the worst-hit COVID-19 country. It has contributed the maximum number of deaths to the global index. Although the first official COVID-19 case was detected in January 2020 in the US. It seems that the virus was prevalent in the country weeks before in December 2019.
Positive Samples First Detected in Seattle and NYC
The participants for the serology tests were outside the major hotspots of New York City and Seattle. However, these two cities are considered as the virus’s entry point in the country. Well, this is not confirmed but it is thought that the Coronavirus entered the US via NYC and Seattle. The first positive samples came from patients in Illinois and Massachusetts on January 7 and 8, 2020. Henceforth, this indicates that the virus was present in the States in late December.
Antibody Test Very Useful in Tracing Coronavirus Infections
Keri Althoff, professor at the John Hopkins highlighted the importance of antibody testings. He said the blood sample’s antibody testing helps in understanding the spread of Coronavirus in the country. Antibody testings were restricted in the US in early pandemic days. The CDC also published a similar study last November that indicates COVID-19 was present in the US in December 2019. But there are certain limitations to the serology testing. More information is needed to come to a conclusion. However, the COVID-19 death count in the US surpassed 600,000 on Tuesday.