Scientists Research People Who Have Never Been Infected By COVID-19

While COVID-19 infections in San Diego County have increased 40% over the last two weeks, there are still many people who have never been infected by it

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According to the CDC, a majority of Americans have been infected by COVID-19 based on the antibodies showing up in their blood. Scientists can distinguish between COVID-19 antibodies that came from a previous infection and ones that came from the vaccine.

While many Americans have never tested positive, based on the antibodies, the CDC has determined that approximately 58% of Americans have been infected over the last two years. That number went up from 34% at the end of last year, which means that most Americans got infected during the Omicron surge.

Despite the high numbers, there are still many Americans who have never been infected by the coronavirus.

"I still think there are a lot of people who have perhaps been fortunate enough or privileged enough to be able to shelter themselves for the past two years who could very well still get it. Where they take a different approach to living their lives," said Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, with Brown University's School of Public Health.

Now, scientists are trying to look at those who have never been infected to find out if there is something beyond luck and taking the right precautions, that make some people seemingly immune from getting infected.

"One of the things that should be looked at is whether people who were sort of in the same place, they had the same type of exposure, but some may have gotten it and some may have not and trying to understand what makes the ones who didn’t get it, different," Nuzzo said.

Scientists at Rockefeller University in New York are currently studying that. Nuzzo says it's important to study these people because it could give scientists information about how to potentially prevent people from getting infected from the future, or possibly how to treat future variants of the virus.

"There was a hypothesis that some people may express a different level of the receptors, the types of cells that the virus tries to invade and that people with more of those may be more likely to be infected than people with fewer of those," she said.

As of right now, there have not been any conclusions regarding natural immunity from the coronavirus. Medical experts recommend continuing to take the proper precautions to prevent yourself from getting infected.

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