Study: Six Percent of the Miami-Dade Population Have Coronavirus Antibodies

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Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP

About six percent of the population in Florida’s Miami-Dade have developed antibodies to the novel coronavirus, preliminary results from a University of Miami study released Friday revealed.

Officials in Miami-Dade, one of the areas in Florida hit hardest by the virus, prompted a countywide survey to estimate the percentage of the population that has been exposed to the virus. Researchers conducted the survey over two weeks, testing roughly 1,400 individuals and estimating that six percent of the population has antibodies. Half of those who tested positive for antibodies reportedly exhibited no symptoms of the virus in the 14-17 days prior to the test.

The Miami Herald reported:

UM researchers used statistical methods to account for the limitations of the antibody test, which is known to generate some false positive results. The researchers say they are 95% certain that the true amount of infection lies between 4.4% and 7.9% of the population, with 6% representing the best estimate.

That would mean about 165,000 estimated infections in Miami-Dade, with the margin of error equating to 123,000 residents on the low end and 221,000 residents on the high end.

The results follow New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) detailing the preliminary results of a statewide antibody test, which found that nearly 14 percent of New Yorkers statewide, 13.9 percent, tested positive for antibodies. More than 21 percent tested positive in New York City alone.

“If the infection rate is 13.9 percent, then it changes the theories of what the death rate is if you get infected,” Cuomo explained during Thursday’s press briefing.

“Thirteen percent of the population is about 2.7 million people who have been infected. If you look at what we have now as a death total, which is 15,500, that would be about a 0.5 percent death rate,” he explained.

Miami-Dade had 10,926 confirmed cases of the virus as of Saturday morning.

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