Sarah Stultz: Do you have antibodies for COVID-19?

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

I read an article Tuesday by the Associated Press that looked at research completed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

According to the article, the researchers studied blood samples from more than 200,000 Americans, looking for the virus-fighting antibodies made from COVID-19 infections — not vaccines — and found that three out of every four children in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and more than half of all Americans had signs of previous infections. 

The research also showed a drastic increase in people with antibodies from December to February, with 34% showing signs of a previous infection in December, and that number increasing to 58% by February. 

For children alone, the numbers increased from 45% showing antibodies in December to 75% in February. 

The article stated the large increase was likely reflective of how contagious the omicron variant has been.

As I’ve written about before, our family was one that was infected with the virus, and I know a good number of people who have also tested positive in the last year. But I also know many people who — to their knowledge — have never contracted the virus. 

If this research holds true, that means almost six out of 10 have antibodies, including a majority of children — a whopping three out of four children. From the sounds of it, some people probably never even knew they had the virus. 

I would be really interested to see how this nationwide data coincides with data on the local and state levels and how many of the people with antibodies were symptomatic.

I’m also curious to see how these results might affect how scientists think the virus will continue to impact our communities, nation and world in the coming months. 

I continue to be perplexed by COVID-19, as I have seen it take a grip on both healthy and sick, young and old. 

For now, I guess I will bask in all of the opportunities that are abounding again in the  area and that will continue to grow this summer. 

It will be the most regular summer we’ve seen in three years, and I can’t wait for many of my favorite Albert Lea events to return. I’m also looking forward to simply seeing more people out and about more. 

Albert Lea shines in the summer, so I encourage everyone to get out there and find this sunshine for yourself. 

I’m gearing up for a lot of community events and hope to not take these for granted.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.