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Africa Begins Continent-wide Study of COVID-19 Anti-bodies

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By Cara Anna

An Africa-wide study of antibodies to the coronavirus has begun, while evidence from a smaller study indicates that many more people have been infected than official numbers show, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

Experts are eager to know the real number of COVID-19 cases in Africa, as confirmed cases and deaths have been relatively low on the continent of 1.3 billion people. Poor data collection, however, has complicated efforts.

But recent surveys in Mozambique found antibodies — proteins the body makes when an infection occurs — to the virus in 5% of households in the city of Nampula and 2.5% in the city of Pemba. That’s while Mozambique has just 2,481 confirmed virus cases. Further studies are underway in the capital, Maputo, and the city of Quelimane


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