Nearly 60 percent of Americans are infected with COVID-19, the CDC reports

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Nearly 60% of the US population has been infected coronavirusthe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in a report released Tuesday.

The CDC also found that 75 percent of U.S. children and adolescents showed serological evidence of a previous COVID-19 infection, and that about a third have become positive again since December 2021.

“The findings illustrate a high infection rate for the omicron variant, especially among children,” the study authors wrote in the report.

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According to the report, the researchers tested blood samples from tens of thousands of Americans every four weeks, from September 2021 to February 2022. The scientists analyzed the samples for detectable levels of anti-nucleocapsid (anti-N) antibodies, which are produced in response to COVID-19 infection, not by vaccines. They did not distinguish which levels of antibodies might be considered protective and noted that scientists are still trying to understand the role these antibodies play in protecting against future coronavirus exposure.

They found during the study period that, overall, 34% of people showed evidence of a previous infection in December and in February the rate increased to 58%.

One vial of Regeneron monoclonal antibody.

One vial of Regeneron monoclonal antibody.
(Reuters / Shannon Stapleton, file)

During the period from December to February, the researchers found an alarming increase in the number of those with antibodies in children and adolescents. The percentages jumped from nearly 45% in December to nearly 75% in February in individuals aged 17 and younger. It was then that the omicron variant was prevalent in the United States, according to the report.

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Dr Kristie Clarke, the co-leader of a CDC team that monitors the extent of coronavirus infections, was quoted in multiple media reports and said, “I expected it to rise. I didn’t expect it to rise that much.”

“We do not predict more serious diseases from any of these sub-variants, but we are actively studying them,” said CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday.

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Their findings also revealed that during the December-February period, the prevalence of antibodies increased from 36.5% to over 63% in adults aged 18 to 49 and from nearly 29% to nearly 50. % in those between the ages of 50 and 64. during that same period. In people over 65, the number increased from about 19 percent to just over 33 percent, the report said. This lower prevalence of antibodies in the older age group may be related to greater use of precautions (masks, social distancing) and being vaccinatedobserved the report.

Information signs displayed in a store in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, in February 2022.
(AP Photo / Nam Y Huh, File)

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Although some studies have shown that previous infection may protect some individuals from serious illness and hospitalization from COVID-19, CDC officials have stressed the importance of obtaining vaccines and boosters to offer additional protection against the coronavirus and have noted that those who have been infected should still be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Seropositivity for anti-N antibodies should not be construed as protection from future infections. Vaccination remains the safest strategy for preventing complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection, including hospitalization among children and adults.” , officials wrote in the CDC report.

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Dr Aaron E. Glatt, spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, told Fox News: “The omicron variants, especially BA.2, are very highly contagious and therefore have infected many people, including those with prior vaccination and / or natural So, many more people have been infected, although fortunately, due to previous vaccination and immunity, we are not seeing a significant increase in hospitalizations. “

Glatt, epidemiologist and head of infectious diseases at Mount Sinai South Nassau in New York, added, “In addition, therapies are now available to treat early COVID in higher-risk patients, further reducing serious illness.”