The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has started using antibody blood tests to confirm coronavirus infections, even among those who have not developed symptoms, Politico reported.
The test scans for antibodies in a blood sample to confirm whether a person has been exposed to the coronavirus, The New York reported. The tests, called serology tests, can help confirm whether there have been populations of U.S. residents carrying the virus across the country.
Determining how many people who come into contact with the coronavirus and do not get sick is key to understanding the spread of the pandemic, according to Politico.
The tests will focus on three groups. The first group tested will be those who were not diagnosed with the coronavirus in hot spots where the disease has multiplied across the country. This would include areas like New York City, now the epicenter of the virus in the United States.
The second group of people tested will include individuals from other areas in the U.S. that have not been hit has hard by the virus. And the third group will include other demographics like health care workers.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center have said that an experimental vaccine against the coronavirus is ready to test in humans as soon as it receives approval from the Food and Drug Administration, according to The New York Times.
Mice given the vaccine produced antibodies against the new coronavirus, according to the outlet. Clinical trials in humans would typically take a year, but the process may be expedited, Dr. Louis D. Falo, a member of the university research team, confirmed to the outlet.
As of Saturday, there are over 300,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and over 8,264 deaths.