News

Volunteers help Stanford search for COVID-19 clues in blood samples

With antibody testing sites around Santa Clara County, researchers aim to pinpoint true prevalence of coronavirus

Hundreds of volunteers from throughout the county lined up in cars in an unusual procession at First Presbyterian Church in Mountain View on Saturday morning, participants in a Stanford University survey that could help us understand how many people actually have COVID-19 virus, even if they aren't showing symptoms.

The volunteers, who had responded to an online survey from Stanford that was distributed locally, proceeded through a drive-thru site at the church, where each submitted to a finger-prick test. Over the weekend, the blood collected during this drive-thru will be analyzed for antibodies, a key indicator of whether a person is – or has been – infected with COVID-19.

Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University who is involved with the project, told the Weekly on Saturday that the research team is taking 2,500 tests at the three sites throughout the county – in Mountain View, Los Gatos and San Jose. A similar experiment is also being conducted in southern California, led by Neeraj Sood, vice dean for research at University of Southern California School of Public Policy.

Stanford is conducting tests over a two-day period on Friday and Saturday, with the goal of analyzing the results by the end of Sunday, Bhattacharya said. They had set up a lab at Stanford and have a team of medical students and doctoral students assisting with the analysis, he said.

"We need to understand how widespread the disease actually is," Bhattacharya told the Weekly. "To do that, we need to understand how many people are infected. The current test people use to check whether they have the condition – the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test – it just checks whether you currently have the virus in you. It doesn't check whether you had it and recovered. An antibody test does both."

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The study, which is led by Eran Bendavid, associate professor of medicine at Stanford, is aiming to get results from a representative sample of county's residents. Volunteers filled out surveys and were targeted through Facebook to participate in the study.

The project, which was assembled in a matter of weeks, has been generating great interest from researchers around the world who are eager to learn about the extent of coronavirus infections in the United States. Researchers in other nations are conducting similar studies, and the World Health Organization has launched an initiative called Solidarity II, a coordinated study in which nations around the globe will be gauging antibody levels in their respective populations.

While the number of reported COVID-19 infections has been steadily increasing in Santa Clara County, which had reported 1,148 such cases as of Saturday afternoon, Bendavid and Bhattacharya have argued that the reported numbers don't fully capture how widespread the virus is, nor the accurate rate of fatalities. In a March 24 editorial in the Wall Street Journal, the two Stanford researchers maintained that the World Health Organization's estimate that the fatality rate from COVID-19 is between 2% and 4% may be far too high.

"If the number of actual infections is much larger than the number of cases – orders of magnitude larger – then the true fatality rate is much lower as well. That's not only plausible but likely based on what we know so far," Bendavid and Bhattacharya wrote.

While Bendavid couldn't be reached for comment Saturday, his emailed response states "the facts to date are consistent with a wide range of uncertainty regarding the fatality rate from COVID-19."

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"We desperately need a population-representative estimate of the seroprevalence of the disease so we can reduce that uncertainty and make better policy on the basis of our improved knowledge," Bendavid wrote.

To help with the effort, the Stanford team quickly raised funds for the two-day survey, appealing to residents to donate through the university's online portal. They had also issued a survey asking residents to submit to blood tests. The survey quickly filled up with willing participants and was closed as of late Friday evening.

"I just think we need more information about everything," said volunteer Marisa Cannon as she dangled her arm out the window of her car while her blood got drawn. "The more data we have, the better it is for everyone."

Her 6-year-old son, seated behind her, was up next for a finger-prick.

Other participants shared her sentiment. Alona Drori said that she "just wanted to do something good," while she and her 12-year-old daughter each stuck an arm out a window of their parked car to have about 10 drops of blood drawn. The process took five minutes.

Bhattacharya said the research team has received great support from over the nation. The team is also hoping to conduct more tests at a later date, though those plans have not yet been finalized.

The project by Stanford and USC researchers is one of numerous efforts currently in progress across the globe that are looking to serology to shed light on the reach and lethality of COVID-19. Maria Van Kerkhobe, COVID-19 technical lead at the World Health Organization, said at a March 27 briefing that there are more than a dozen countries that are conducting epidemiologic studies that involve serology. There are also at least four ongoing studies in different countries that involve analysis of specimens that have already been collected, including blood samples from people who have been hospitalized for other reasons.

"We are eagerly anticipating these results so that we can better understand: What is the seroprevalence? What are the antibody levels among people in different age groups, in different parts of the world," Van Kerkhobe said at the briefing. "This is critical for us to really understand what level of circulation this virus may have or may have had in people that may have had a subclinical infection – infection (in which they had) mild disease and maybe didn't seek care or they weren't picked up through the current surveillance systems."

------

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Volunteers help Stanford search for COVID-19 clues in blood samples

With antibody testing sites around Santa Clara County, researchers aim to pinpoint true prevalence of coronavirus

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 2:50 pm

Hundreds of volunteers from throughout the county lined up in cars in an unusual procession at First Presbyterian Church in Mountain View on Saturday morning, participants in a Stanford University survey that could help us understand how many people actually have COVID-19 virus, even if they aren't showing symptoms.

The volunteers, who had responded to an online survey from Stanford that was distributed locally, proceeded through a drive-thru site at the church, where each submitted to a finger-prick test. Over the weekend, the blood collected during this drive-thru will be analyzed for antibodies, a key indicator of whether a person is – or has been – infected with COVID-19.

Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University who is involved with the project, told the Weekly on Saturday that the research team is taking 2,500 tests at the three sites throughout the county – in Mountain View, Los Gatos and San Jose. A similar experiment is also being conducted in southern California, led by Neeraj Sood, vice dean for research at University of Southern California School of Public Policy.

Stanford is conducting tests over a two-day period on Friday and Saturday, with the goal of analyzing the results by the end of Sunday, Bhattacharya said. They had set up a lab at Stanford and have a team of medical students and doctoral students assisting with the analysis, he said.

"We need to understand how widespread the disease actually is," Bhattacharya told the Weekly. "To do that, we need to understand how many people are infected. The current test people use to check whether they have the condition – the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test – it just checks whether you currently have the virus in you. It doesn't check whether you had it and recovered. An antibody test does both."

The study, which is led by Eran Bendavid, associate professor of medicine at Stanford, is aiming to get results from a representative sample of county's residents. Volunteers filled out surveys and were targeted through Facebook to participate in the study.

The project, which was assembled in a matter of weeks, has been generating great interest from researchers around the world who are eager to learn about the extent of coronavirus infections in the United States. Researchers in other nations are conducting similar studies, and the World Health Organization has launched an initiative called Solidarity II, a coordinated study in which nations around the globe will be gauging antibody levels in their respective populations.

While the number of reported COVID-19 infections has been steadily increasing in Santa Clara County, which had reported 1,148 such cases as of Saturday afternoon, Bendavid and Bhattacharya have argued that the reported numbers don't fully capture how widespread the virus is, nor the accurate rate of fatalities. In a March 24 editorial in the Wall Street Journal, the two Stanford researchers maintained that the World Health Organization's estimate that the fatality rate from COVID-19 is between 2% and 4% may be far too high.

"If the number of actual infections is much larger than the number of cases – orders of magnitude larger – then the true fatality rate is much lower as well. That's not only plausible but likely based on what we know so far," Bendavid and Bhattacharya wrote.

While Bendavid couldn't be reached for comment Saturday, his emailed response states "the facts to date are consistent with a wide range of uncertainty regarding the fatality rate from COVID-19."

"We desperately need a population-representative estimate of the seroprevalence of the disease so we can reduce that uncertainty and make better policy on the basis of our improved knowledge," Bendavid wrote.

To help with the effort, the Stanford team quickly raised funds for the two-day survey, appealing to residents to donate through the university's online portal. They had also issued a survey asking residents to submit to blood tests. The survey quickly filled up with willing participants and was closed as of late Friday evening.

"I just think we need more information about everything," said volunteer Marisa Cannon as she dangled her arm out the window of her car while her blood got drawn. "The more data we have, the better it is for everyone."

Her 6-year-old son, seated behind her, was up next for a finger-prick.

Other participants shared her sentiment. Alona Drori said that she "just wanted to do something good," while she and her 12-year-old daughter each stuck an arm out a window of their parked car to have about 10 drops of blood drawn. The process took five minutes.

Bhattacharya said the research team has received great support from over the nation. The team is also hoping to conduct more tests at a later date, though those plans have not yet been finalized.

The project by Stanford and USC researchers is one of numerous efforts currently in progress across the globe that are looking to serology to shed light on the reach and lethality of COVID-19. Maria Van Kerkhobe, COVID-19 technical lead at the World Health Organization, said at a March 27 briefing that there are more than a dozen countries that are conducting epidemiologic studies that involve serology. There are also at least four ongoing studies in different countries that involve analysis of specimens that have already been collected, including blood samples from people who have been hospitalized for other reasons.

"We are eagerly anticipating these results so that we can better understand: What is the seroprevalence? What are the antibody levels among people in different age groups, in different parts of the world," Van Kerkhobe said at the briefing. "This is critical for us to really understand what level of circulation this virus may have or may have had in people that may have had a subclinical infection – infection (in which they had) mild disease and maybe didn't seek care or they weren't picked up through the current surveillance systems."

------

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.

Comments

Liz Gardner
Mayfield
on Apr 4, 2020 at 6:40 pm
Liz Gardner, Mayfield
on Apr 4, 2020 at 6:40 pm
28 people like this

Way to go Stanford Medicine. This is hopeful. Can't wait to see the results of this finger prick soon. Does anyone know how I might be part of the next round of data collection and samples?


Resident
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 4, 2020 at 10:25 pm
Resident, Old Palo Alto
on Apr 4, 2020 at 10:25 pm
4 people like this

My husband has 0- and has never been sick from anything in 40 years.
I do think it has something to do with his particular blood type.

Regarding serology test development, many other universities in the US and overseas have been doing antibody studies on this SARS CoV-2.


type O+
Mayfield
on Apr 5, 2020 at 1:44 am
type O+, Mayfield
on Apr 5, 2020 at 1:44 am
18 people like this

Resident, a number of studies have indeed shown that individuals with blood type O are less susceptible to a variety of diseases (i.e. cardiovascular heart disease, pancreatitis, different forms of cancer) as well as infections (including covid-19, at least as compared to those with blood type A).

On a related note, I wonder whether cystic fibrosis carriers (1/24 persons of European descent, most of whom are unaware that they are carriers) are particularly susceptible to severe consequences of covid-19 infection.


Ruth
another community
on Apr 5, 2020 at 7:03 am
Ruth, another community
on Apr 5, 2020 at 7:03 am
7 people like this

Nice work! I'm looking forward to your results!


another parent
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 5, 2020 at 9:58 am
another parent, Old Palo Alto
on Apr 5, 2020 at 9:58 am
13 people like this

I tried to sign up and received a number but no appointment, so they couldn't test me. I am especially interested in being tested because I was HORRIBLY sick in January with what I thought was a weird flu unlike anything I've had before. I was so sick that I actually kept notes so I could remember my fever and when I had taken Tylenol, Advil, Tesalon Perle, inhaler, etc. I really hope they open up the study further or develop an antibody test that can be used widely.


Ryan
Midtown
on Apr 5, 2020 at 11:21 am
Ryan, Midtown
on Apr 5, 2020 at 11:21 am
11 people like this

Does anyone know how we can access the results of the survey?


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2020 at 12:26 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2020 at 12:26 pm
4 people like this

Excellent project. Wish I'd heard about it in advance and been tested. Is there any information on how scalable and expensive these antibody would be on a massive scale? It would be nice if everyone knew their results.


Chris R.
Menlo Park
on Apr 5, 2020 at 12:47 pm
Chris R., Menlo Park
on Apr 5, 2020 at 12:47 pm
13 people like this

The fact that Germany has a much lower mortality rate has been puzzling. It turns out, due to the German federal lab testing organization (no central authority like the CDC) and early distribution of a test to those distributed labs in January, the capacity is 500,000 tests a week. So this allowed anyone to be tested, and therefore gives a more precise mortality rate between 0.5-1 percent.

If we apply that in reverse to the number of deaths in other countries, we can get a better idea of the number of infected individuals.

For the US, this would mean, current as of today and assuming a 1% mortality rate, 9,420 deaths * 100 = 942,000 infected people, while the official count is 329,000.


Berklua
St. Claire Gardens
on Apr 5, 2020 at 5:08 pm
Berklua, St. Claire Gardens
on Apr 5, 2020 at 5:08 pm
5 people like this

How & where do we sign up for the next round? Is there a link to register?


Oldster
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 5, 2020 at 5:56 pm
Oldster, Old Palo Alto
on Apr 5, 2020 at 5:56 pm
2 people like this

It was interesting that this study was offering $10 Amazon gift cards. I dare say no gift cards would be needed to recruit people for the next study.

Based on what happened in Santa Clara County years ago once the scarce H1N1 vaccine first came out, expecting we'll have drive and walk-up distribution sites for Corona antibody tests and later a vaccine starting in the Zip codes with the highest transmission rates from data gathered at these early test studies. I served as a Red Cross Spanish translator at the County Health's H1N1 vaccine program at the County fairgrounds in San Jose and later at a clinic in Sunnyvale. The County is amazing at identifying whichever populations are the most vulnerable and getting them support first.


@Ryan
Los Altos
on Apr 5, 2020 at 8:03 pm
@Ryan , Los Altos
on Apr 5, 2020 at 8:03 pm
2 people like this

The results won’t be available to the public. Participants could choose whether or not they wanted to even hear their own results. They/we can choose to tell people our results.


Lisa
another community
on Apr 5, 2020 at 8:46 pm
Lisa, another community
on Apr 5, 2020 at 8:46 pm
9 people like this

Hi There Friends, I am all the way out in Los Angeles and will be tested next Saturday the 11th. I received a random survey through a company I had registered with. I am very excited to go. If I happened to be one of those folks immune I will donate plasma at the drop of a hat if asked to. I too believe it has something to do with blood type and DNA. And I am O+ blood type - CMV neg ( I actually donated blood with Red Cross on the 27th due to the severe shortage). Although I have asthma and have been pretty good about social distancing I work in direct contact with the public in very close contact (wellness and massage therapy). At the very least I'm excited to get my results. Praying for all of us. This too shall pass. God Bless...


prashanth
Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on Apr 6, 2020 at 11:39 am
prashanth, Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on Apr 6, 2020 at 11:39 am
Like this comment

We always enjoy your articles its inspired a lot by reading your articles day by day. So please accept my thanks and congrats for success of your latest series.


CrescentParkAnon.
Crescent Park
on Apr 6, 2020 at 11:51 am
CrescentParkAnon., Crescent Park
on Apr 6, 2020 at 11:51 am
3 people like this

So, the theory goes that CoronaVirus has been spreading much faster than we have thought
and there are a whole bunch of people out here that have gotten the virus, had almost no
symptoms and took it for granted that it was not CoronaVirus, and that also have immunity
and would prove that the fatality rate is lower than thought.

The conclusion of this theory is that lot of people now have immunity from having had the virus
and there are enough people with anti-bodies that there is now enough, or almost enough, to
claim that we have "herd immunity" and we can let people who have the anti-bodies back out
in public and get things rolling again.

It is an interesting theory. Wishful, but interesting.

At this point are we trusting in government enough to believe this theory and that they collect
the results of the antibody testing and analyze and report on those results honestly and
objectively? Are we sure that the presence of antibodies indicates absolute immunity on that
individual? There are anecdotal reports of people having had the CoronaVirus twice, or still
being infectious after they have gotten over the symptoms of the disease.

These ideas are explained well by economist Mark Blyth on the last Radio Open Source podcast
entitled "Profits or People", HERE: Web Link#

One thing Blyth points out is that the US brand of efficiency and profiteering has been at the
expense of workers, and the public sector, funneling all capital and protections to the very
rich and powerful. He likens this to the idea of, why do we have two kidneys? Redundancy
is the answers. Blyth says the hollowing out, the off-shoring and out-sourcing has made it
so that we may be profitable, but the economy is so fragile to these disasters that it is like
running on half a kidney. Of course the people that want is to go back to work and accept
the risk of dying have priority to that half-kidney function.


Cat Mom Leonorilda
Midtown
on Apr 6, 2020 at 12:12 pm
Cat Mom Leonorilda, Midtown
on Apr 6, 2020 at 12:12 pm
4 people like this

I was very sick in February with symptoms that have been described as those of Covid-19. It took more than 2 weeks for me to fully recover. I believe that Covid-19 was already in the community due to travel to and from China and other places, but it was not yet identified as a threat, or at least not publicly so in early to mid February. How can those of us who were sick in late January and throughout February find out if we were infected with Covid-19?


jvpadojino
Evergreen Park
on Apr 6, 2020 at 12:58 pm
jvpadojino, Evergreen Park
on Apr 6, 2020 at 12:58 pm
7 people like this

Hi @Liz Gardner and @Berklua, my name is Jamey, Palo Alto Online's digital editor. The researchers hope to collect more samples in the future but haven't finalized any plans yet.

@Ryan We plan to follow up with the researchers on the results from the recent data collection.


Palo Altan
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 6, 2020 at 2:31 pm
Palo Altan, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 6, 2020 at 2:31 pm
13 people like this

another parent: I was also horribly sick with something - in February - with something unlike anything I've ever had before. At some point, I want to be tested, as well.


Geetu
another community
on Apr 6, 2020 at 3:55 pm
Geetu, another community
on Apr 6, 2020 at 3:55 pm
20 people like this

I too was very sick in mid-February, almost gasping for breath, i believe I had it, the covid was unheard of and I went to Dr. she did a flu test. I usually don't take Western medicine.

I will never get tested,since i don't have high fever and did not travel outside, but i was in contact with people in Dec/Jan.

Now too at times I have bodyache, occasional headaches.

Can you test my antibody?


This is Crazy!
Green Acres
on Apr 6, 2020 at 4:41 pm
This is Crazy!, Green Acres
on Apr 6, 2020 at 4:41 pm
3 people like this

My family and I were also ill starting right around president's day weekend....my son was the first to get sick and it went through our household like a fire. I agree with other posters who had similar experiences with a strange illness...In all 4 of us, the symptoms were very different. Kids recovered fine, my Partner took a little longer to rebound...but it was rough......we would be first in line to get a test to check our antibodies...It would also give us some kind of sense of security to know if we did have it...we made it through. I hope everyone stays safe and healthy!


Gus L.
Barron Park
on Apr 6, 2020 at 7:34 pm
Gus L., Barron Park
on Apr 6, 2020 at 7:34 pm
Like this comment

If someone is Asymptomatic with the Covid 19 Virus, do they only have it as long as someone who is showing symptoms? or do they remain carriers for a longer duration?
Just wondering if it runs its course through an Asymptomatic person and the bodies immune system destroys it without symptoms?


MomdocGt
Mountain View
on Apr 7, 2020 at 9:10 am
MomdocGt, Mountain View
on Apr 7, 2020 at 9:10 am
Like this comment

What is the point of this epidemiologic study if results are not available to the public? And if Stanford has an antibody test available, why dont they make it available for clinical testing? I was told by the Stanfird clinical lab that they dont have any of the antibody tests available for doctors to order. Mow that would be useful so we could get people back to work. There is an urgent need for clinical aniNGtibody testing and an understanding of whether antibodies confer immunity.


Berklua
St. Claire Gardens
on Apr 7, 2020 at 12:51 pm
Berklua, St. Claire Gardens
on Apr 7, 2020 at 12:51 pm
Like this comment

Agreed, Momdocgt!

If someone has a lab, I’m willing to contribute my O blood type to help with your clinical trials. I was horribly sick from covid-19 (like fealty) and now I’m fully recovered. It took a long long time.

I’m actually going to donate blood this week, because I’m realizing that not only is there a desperate need for O type blood right now containing life restoring antibodies (which is what I have) but the blood center would probably be required to first confirm for me that I am now testing positive & they would be foolish to not test me O type blood for my life giving plasma.

As for the immunity theory, I think it is highly likely, that there may be immunity for 1 to 3 years, based on SARS and other similar viruses. The people who tested positive after testing negative took tests that were faulty and highly inaccurate. I could be wrong, but I think there are new tests now that are highly accurate.

I am still taking precautions however & wearing mask outside, etc...

Anyone try to give blood yet? That may be a great way to find out if you are negative or positive without getting something stuck up your nose/mouth. I prefer to find out via blood which is how the study above was performed.


Erik
another community
on Apr 7, 2020 at 2:46 pm
Erik , another community
on Apr 7, 2020 at 2:46 pm
Like this comment

ATT: Lisa in Los Angeles.

I am also in LA and would very much like to partake in the Covid-19 antibody test study that you are partaking in now on Saturday April 11th. Is there any way you could give me information about where and how?

My e-mails are:

[email protected]
[email protected]

It would be a life saver for me. Thank you so much in advance.

Best regards,
Erik


On The Border
Los Altos
on Apr 7, 2020 at 3:10 pm
On The Border, Los Altos
on Apr 7, 2020 at 3:10 pm
4 people like this

I was really sick in early January with symptoms that now are considered COVID-19: slight fever, dry unending cough, sinus aches, lethargy, congestion. It lasted over 2 weeks. A friend got even sicker. She had been traveling in Spain, the UK, Florida, and Michigan. We both think we had it.
I'd love to get tested to see if I had COVID-19.


Antony44
College Terrace
on Apr 8, 2020 at 3:43 am
Antony44, College Terrace
on Apr 8, 2020 at 3:43 am
Like this comment

I hope they continue research or develop an antibody test that can be widely used.Web Link


Richard
Charleston Gardens
on Apr 8, 2020 at 3:45 am
Richard, Charleston Gardens
on Apr 8, 2020 at 3:45 am
Like this comment

I would like it to be not a one-time action, but a constant


MP_Resident
Menlo Park
on Apr 8, 2020 at 7:53 am
MP_Resident, Menlo Park
on Apr 8, 2020 at 7:53 am
Like this comment

Blood centers are not testing donations for Covid-19. There isn't enough lab capacity for that, and there hasn't been any evidence so far that the virus is transmitted through blood.


Dan Anderson
another community
on Apr 8, 2020 at 1:48 pm
Dan Anderson, another community
on Apr 8, 2020 at 1:48 pm
5 people like this

So glad that these bright minds are tackling this issue. When Covid-19 was first really mentioned in the mainstream media, it immediately struck a cord with me as I had been sick since mid-November 2019 with many of the same symptoms (terrible congestion, difficulty breathing, alternating fever/sweats, great fatigue, overall body soreness). Most of the symptoms persisted for several weeks, and I only felt totally better by about mid-Jan 2020. While having symptoms a visit to the urgent care resulted in a sinus swab being taken but a declaration that it was NOT the flu but must be an unknown virus. I travel quite a bit between the East and West Coasts and had been traveling just prior to the onset of symptoms. My daughter ended up with similar symptoms after the holidays but has seemed to recover as well. I eagerly await to hear the results of their findings as it seems we learn a little more each day.


S_mom
Community Center
on Apr 8, 2020 at 2:04 pm
S_mom, Community Center
on Apr 8, 2020 at 2:04 pm
4 people like this

I would also be so interested in an antibodies test if one became widely available. All 5 members of my family had an illness around president's day weekend that was definitely quite contagious -- started with my son then passed to the rest of us in turn. The symptoms weren't horrible for us, no one had a fever, but I remember thinking it was unusual because the only symptom for any of us was a cough (preceded by a slight sore throat), but nobody got a runny nose. Most cold viruses seem to start with a runny nose that eventually results in a cough, so this one stood out to me because it was only a cough. I'm dying to know if we had it, but I'm sure it will be a while before the testing is widespread enough to test people who aren't at special risk.


Alan I
Old Palo Alto
on Apr 9, 2020 at 1:41 pm
Alan I , Old Palo Alto
on Apr 9, 2020 at 1:41 pm
Like this comment

When will the initial results of this test be available


REB
Menlo Park
on Apr 9, 2020 at 2:22 pm
REB, Menlo Park
on Apr 9, 2020 at 2:22 pm
5 people like this

My wife and I, both 77 years old, also were both seriously ill in January with severe coughing. I went to my doctor because I feared it might be a recurrence of pneumonia which I had a year earlier; he determined that it was not pneumonia. At that point few had heard of COVID-19. But we strongly suspect that's what we had. We are very interested in learning whether or not we have antibodies. Clearly many others would also like this testing. But we don't see any way to sign up. And it seems a pity that the overall results won't be made public: Pity may be understatement--criminal seems more appropriate.


GrandmaKK
Midtown
on Apr 9, 2020 at 6:37 pm
GrandmaKK, Midtown
on Apr 9, 2020 at 6:37 pm
Like this comment

As someone else said, my husband and I were very sick in December and January. I would like to know if we had COVID19 so we know whether we might be susceptible to another wave. Will Stanford be offering antibody testing anytime soon?


pares
Green Acres
on Apr 9, 2020 at 7:55 pm
pares, Green Acres
on Apr 9, 2020 at 7:55 pm
Like this comment

We too had something which definitely seemed different at the time. My husband does get coughs every winter season but this year he had a cough that seemed particularly bad. It hung on for weeks, at first getting better then getting worse. It included a sore throat for him. Twice he contacted and saw the doctor and was prescribed coughing medicine. And the prescription medication did not really help. This was around early December into January. About a week later after him, I came down with it but it was much milder for me and lasted around two weeks.

Only way to really find out is to be tested for the antibodies.


Don M.
another community
on Apr 10, 2020 at 11:18 am
Don M., another community
on Apr 10, 2020 at 11:18 am
Like this comment

I also would like to know how I can sign up for this test.


Geetu
another community
on Apr 11, 2020 at 4:12 pm
Geetu, another community
on Apr 11, 2020 at 4:12 pm
2 people like this

Is there anothe antibody test coming up soon? for the public in Bay area.


question
Charleston Meadows
on Apr 14, 2020 at 11:47 am
question, Charleston Meadows
on Apr 14, 2020 at 11:47 am
3 people like this

I volunteered for the test and did not hear back -- presumably I am negative. I am confused by exactly what test was conducted. I was under the impression that it was a home-brew Stanford test. But this article:

Web Link

seems to suggest that the public testing by Stanford Medicine was done using a commercially available test from Premier Biotech. And now, there is a group at Stanford trying to validate the results of that test using a home-brew Stanford test -- which for some reason is being considered the gold standard.

I hope some reporters will get to the bottom of this mysterious testing and give us a clear report. Especially one with false alarm and miss probability rates (together with confidence intervals) that are quantitatively meaningful. I am annoyed by journalists who write the test is "accurate" without specifying exactly what they mean quantitatively.


More information on immunity
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 14, 2020 at 11:59 am
More information on immunity, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 14, 2020 at 11:59 am
Like this comment

There is an article by an expert Web Link
No answers yet but useful background and some pointers to relevant but not-yet-published results.


C
another community
on Apr 15, 2020 at 3:43 pm
C, another community
on Apr 15, 2020 at 3:43 pm
9 people like this

They tested hundreds of people for antibodies which would indicate they've already had the virus. This was 11 days ago. The test takes 2-3 days to output results. So what were the results? What percentage of these hundreds of people already have the anitbodies? This is what everyone wants to know.


Berklua
St. Claire Gardens
on Apr 17, 2020 at 1:39 pm
Berklua, St. Claire Gardens
on Apr 17, 2020 at 1:39 pm
2 people like this

Thanks C,

Based on what you & More have written, I’m not interested in getting the test anymore. Sure, I want to help find a cure, but I will also expect that if I took the test, I would be informed of my own results pronto.


CoronaChan
Stanford
on Apr 17, 2020 at 2:58 pm
CoronaChan, Stanford
on Apr 17, 2020 at 2:58 pm
1 person likes this

Here is the academic article on the study:

Web Link

Short synopsis: there are up to 85x more infections in Santa Clara County than the reported confirmed cases.


Stephen
another community
on Apr 17, 2020 at 10:59 pm
Stephen, another community
on Apr 17, 2020 at 10:59 pm
3 people like this

While the study found a high population weighted prevalence of 2.5% to about 4%, I wonder about the volunteer recruitment--

They recruited volunteers using online ads, but how do they account for the fact that people who might have had the virus will preferentially want to volunteer. If you look at the comments above many of the people wanted to participate because they thought they might have had the virus and they want to find out. Obviously this effect would bias the results to a much higher infection rate.

The authors do acknowledge this issue in their paper, where they say "bias favoring those with prior COVID-like illnesses seeking antibody confirmation are also possible"

Although there is also uncertainty in the accuracy of their test, I'd have much more confidence in their results if the study had actively recruited a randomized sample of the population.


Jaytee404
Mountain View
on Apr 17, 2020 at 11:33 pm
Jaytee404 , Mountain View
on Apr 17, 2020 at 11:33 pm
4 people like this

I participated in this study on my bday saturday April 4th. I was curious about the testa and wanted to help but also because I was sick last week of February through 3rd week of march. I had the weirdest symptoms and I can truly say I probably had it and I'm sure my antibody tests came out positive.
How do I get my results? They never really mentioned to me if they'd call or not or email. I just got a $10 gift card and paperwork. How do I get my results?


Simon morris
another community
on Apr 18, 2020 at 8:36 am
Simon morris, another community
on Apr 18, 2020 at 8:36 am
2 people like this

Took the test in Lios Gatos but haven’t heard back yet. Are they only disclosing positive results? Does anyone know anyone that was actually given their results?


scientific critical thinking
Midtown
on Apr 18, 2020 at 12:25 pm
scientific critical thinking, Midtown
on Apr 18, 2020 at 12:25 pm
Like this comment

To those who had flu like symptoms that prompted you to donate blood samples to Stanford research, regardless of your individual results, it would be a good service if you could inform all those you may have come in contact with about it as a precaution. If none of them got suffered from COVID19, that's good. But if any of them did, they advise them to do the same.
If no one you know suffered from COVID19, no need to worry about the antibody results as having the antibodies is no guarantee that you will not contract COVID19 again. No data to guarantee. Only Dr Fauci clearly states that.


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