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Anti-SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in King County, WA-Cross-sectional survey, August 2020

PLoS One. 2022 Aug 22;17(8):e0272783. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0272783. eCollection 2022.


We conducted a seroprevalence survey to estimate the true number of infections with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in King County as of August 2020 by measuring the proportion of residents from who had antibodies against the virus. Participants from 727 households took part in a cross-sectional address-based household survey with random and non-random samples and provided dried blood spots that were tested for total antibody against the viral nucleocapsid protein, with confirmatory testing for immunoglobulin G against the spike protein. The data were weighted to match King County’s population based on sex, age group, income, race, and Hispanic status. After weighting and accounting for the accuracy of the tests, our best overall estimate of anti-SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in King County as of August 2020 is 3.9% (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.4%-6.0%) with an effective sample size of 589. Comparing seroprevalence with positive test reports, our survey suggests that viral testing underestimated incidence by a factor of about five and suggests that the proportion of cases that were serious (based on hospitalization) or fatal was 2.4% and 0.8%, respectively. Prevalence varied by subgroup; households reporting incomes at or below $100,000 in 2019 had nearly five times higher estimated antibody prevalence than those with incomes above $100,000. Those reporting non-White/non-Asian race had roughly seven times higher estimated antibody prevalence than those reporting White race. This survey was noteworthy for including people of all ages; among all age groups, the weighted estimate of prevalence was highest in older teens and young adults and lowest in young children, although these differences were not statistically significant.

PMID:35994500 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0272783

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