A new study stated that the COVID-19 was prevalent in the US much before the first case reported in China. The shocking particulars from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have made the whole world questionable.
They collected 7000 blood samples from 9 states from December 13, 2019, to January 17, 2020. Of these, nearly 106 samples had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. This may give a picture claiming that the COVID-19 was present in the US before than we think. We know that the first human case of the virus was reported on December 31, 2019. Similarly, the confirmed case in the US reported on January 20, 2020, by a Washington resident who traveled to China at that time.
However, retrospective studies showed things differently. France claimed to report the case in December 2019, and Italy showed cases in September itself.
Out of 106 positive samples, 39 were from California, Oregon, and Washington collected between December 13 ad 16, 2019, and 67 from Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin collected between December 30, 2019, and January 17, 2020.
There comes another question that these earlier positive cases might have resulted due to cross-reaction of antibodies with coronaviruses. But, additional tests have done to eliminate the confusion and proved 84 out of 90 samples had antibodies specific to the COVID-19 virus. Also, more accurate tests cause a minimal number of false-positive reactions.
However, still, we cannot say that the antibodies produced were against only SARS-CoV-2, and the term cross-reactivity matters. And also, if it were true cases of viral infections, we were not sure where the victims traveled those times. For instance, blood donors might have traveled to China before giving samples. Since there is a t of limitation in this study, we couldn’t get much information about the virus at that time.
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Source: Science Alert