Rendering of a coronavirus molecule suspended with others on a blue and purple background

Nearly 58% of Americans had infection-induced antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 by February 2022, meaning that a majority of the country’s population has been exposed to the virus, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Investigators used data from a national commercial laboratory study and the 2018 American Community Survey to track trends between September 2021, when overall seroprevalence — a telltale measure of antibody activity — was 33.5%, to February 2022 by age group.

Among older adults during that time period, detection of antibodies rose from 29% to 50% among those aged 50 to 64 years old, and from 19% to 33% among those aged 65 years and older, the CDC reported.

The overall February numbers translate to about 188 million Americans having had COVID-19, compared to an official estimate of 80 million cases, according to the U.S. News & World Report.

The findings highlight the high infection rate associated with the omicron variant, the CDC noted. This is especially true among children, 75% of whom were newly seropositive since December, the CDC researchers concluded.

Full findings were published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.  

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