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NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

The Results Are In

Three fellows in the lab, including one holding a beaker with blue liquid and another holding up and examining a small vial of blue liquid.

Sadtler’s lab mates include (from l) Kenneth Adusei, Maria Karkanitsa and Tran Ngo.

Photo: NIBIB

Results from the antibodies study reveal there were nearly 17 million undiagnosed Covid-19 cases in the U.S. by July 2020, far exceeding the known number of cases in a pandemic that has affected the country unevenly. 

Analysis of participant blood samples—along with the collected health, demographic and socioeconomic data—offers insight into the undetected spread of Covid-19 and subgroup vulnerability to undiagnosed infection. 

“The estimate of Covid-19 cases in the United States in mid-July 2020, 3 million in a population of 330 million, should be revised upwards by almost 20 million when the percent of asymptomatic positive results is included,” said NIBIB’s Dr. Kaitlyn Sadtler, about the study published June 22 in Science Translational Medicine. “This wide gap between the known cases at the time and these asymptomatic infections has implications not only for retrospectively understanding this pandemic, but future pandemic preparedness.” 

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