The Daily Coronavirus Fix

By June 7, 2020 Commentary

I spent a lot of time on seroprevalence studies because they give us a more accurate picture of how many people were actually infected in various countries and locales.  This antibody study comes from Japan.  (Medrxiv Paper)   The tests were performed at two community clinics in Japan.  1071 people were tested.  4.7% were positive in one location and 1.83 in another location.

Another similar study from Hong Kong, looking at antibody prevalence from that city as well as among people evacuated from Wuhan.  (Lancet Paper)  Serum taken from 1938 residents of the city before the epidemic began were tested along with 452 returnees from Wuhan.   None of the samples from residents showed signs of antibodies.  About 4% of the returnees showed evidence of infection from antibody tests, which is much higher than positive infection tests would suggest.   The authors suggested there may have been as many as 2 million infections in Hubei province, with 97% going undetected.  The authors also noted very low levels of infection among children and thought this might be due to cross-reactive antibodies from other coronavirus infections.

Next, a study that shows that unemployment through May 9 is worse in states with lockdowns.  (Job Loss Study)   States which had no general lockdown averaged about 6% unemployment.  States which were locked down but opened fully or partially or had minimal lockdowns averaged about 11% unemployment.  States which had an indefinite lockdown but allowed some business activity were at 13% and states that stayed closed through May 9 averaged 15.5%.

Finally, a study in the journal Public Health looks at children’s mortality from coronavirus disease.  (PH Study)   Data from seven countries was used.  Only 44 deaths in children under the age of 18 were found.  This was a much lower rate than the rates of death from many other causes including influenza, for which many children are vaccinated.  Children were far more likely to die, for example, from unintentional injuries.

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