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The mass antibody study found that 3.4 million people in the UK had Covid-19



NHS antibody test at West Midlands Ambulance Service

Photographer: Simon Dawson / Bloomberg

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About 3.4 million people in the UK – 6% of the population – have been infected with coronavirus, with infection rates twice as high as in London, a major antibody study found.

A mass survey of more than 100,000 people – which the government considers the largest in the world – found that the levels of outbreaks vary widely between regions and population groups.

In In London, 13% of people have antibodies while in the southwestern UK there are less than 3%, according to research published by the Ministry of Health and Imperial College London. People from Black, Asian and other ethnic groups, caregivers, and people living in larger households are most likely to be infected.

The study involved 100,000 people self-testing for coronavirus antibodies at home between June 20 and July 13. there is no solid evidence that antibodies provide immunity.

But these findings are significant because they have the potential to influence decisions officials will make about what kind of embargo restrictions are needed in the future and which groups are most at risk. Boris Johnson’s government was hit for pandemic handling, leaving the UK with the highest number of deaths in Europe and facing the deepest economic slowdown of any comparable country.

Burden

There is no breakthrough in finding a home antibody test for general public use. Separate studies, also published Thursday, evaluated a series of home antibody tests with knuckles but found the results not reliable enough to be approved for widespread use by the government. The trials are still considered consistent Supervisory studies such as Imperial studies.

The burden of Covid-19 “has especially fallen on ethnic minority groups and key workers, especially in caregivers and health care, ”Says Professor Helen Ward, one of the participating researchers. “People in deprived and densely populated areas are most likely exposed to the virus and we need to do more to protect people from any future waves of infection.”

The findings include:

  • Among those most likely to become infected were home care workers (16%) and health care workers (12%).
  • In the wider population, 17% of blacks and 12% of Asians are infected.
  • People in Britain’s most deprived regions have higher levels of antibodies than people in the wealthiest regions.
  • Research shows that one in three people with antibodies has no symptoms, an increase in those over 65 years of age.

This surveillance study will be repeated in the fall and will test an additional 200,000 people for antibodies. The government calls for more people to register.


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