Large-scale geographic seroprevalence surveys
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Large-scale geographic seroprevalence surveys

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    Updated May 31, 2020

    CDC wants to learn more about the percentage of people in the United States who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 and to better understand how the virus is spreading through the U.S. population over time. Because infected people can have mild illness or may not get medical care or testing, CDC also wants to use this information to estimate the number of people who have been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 and were not included in official case counts. To help answer those questions and others, CDC is collaborating with public health and private partners on a variety of seroprevalence surveys of different sizes, locations, populations studied, and purposes.

    Seroprevalence surveys use serology (blood) tests to identify people in a population or community that have antibodies against an infectious disease. Antibodies are proteins that help fight off infections and provide protection against getting that disease again (immunity). If a person has SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in their blood, it means that person was likely previously infected with the virus, even if the infection was not recognized because it was mild or did not cause symptoms.

    CDC is conducting seroprevalence surveys called “large-scale geographic seroprevalence surveys” in locations across the United States. The first seroprevalence surveys began in areas that first reported community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States; they are now being expanded to more regions. Descriptions of these surveys are provided below.

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    Large-scale Geographic Seroprevalence Survey Samples -- Commercial Laboratory Survey -- Blood Donor Survey.
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