Sunday, August 21, 2022
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Half of the grownup inhabitants caught COVID earlier than the newest Omicron surge

NSW had the very best prevalence of nucleocapsid protein antibodies (49.8 per cent), adopted by Queensland (48.9 per cent) and Victoria (46.5 per cent). Western Australia had the bottom antibody prevalence (37.5 per cent), up from 0.5 per cent in late February.

The prevalence of the virus detected within the blood samples was two instances increased than the variety of COVID-19 case notifications from PCR and speedy assessments within the two weeks earlier than the blood samples have been collected.

Machalek mentioned the true prevalence of COVID-19 infections in the neighborhood was even increased, partly as a result of the check used to detect the COVID-related antibodies picks up solely 78 to 80 per cent, which means greater than 20 per cent might be missed.

“We additionally know that antibodies wane over time, so there could be individuals who have been contaminated in 2020 or 2021 we’re not choosing up,” she mentioned.

Professor James McCaw, infectious illness epidemiologist and member of the Australian Well being Safety Principal Committee mentioned COVID-19 prevalence would in all probability rise once more when the subsequent serosurvey – as a result of be carried out in early August – picks up folks contaminated throughout the present BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron wave.

“I don’t count on we’ll get to 100 per cent [infection prevalence], nevertheless it is dependent upon how huge this BA.4/BA.5 wave is,” McCaw mentioned.

The blood samples have been collected from Australian Pink Cross Lifeblood donor centres between June 9 and 18 and have been additionally examined for COVID-related spike antibodies, that are produced by each pure an infection and vaccination. Ninety-nine per cent had these antibodies, reflecting Australia’s excessive vaccination charge.

“The message just isn’t ‘everybody goes to get COVID so what’s the purpose of getting vaccinated’,” Machalek mentioned.

“Vaccination is especially vital once we know the newer subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are higher at escaping immunity than earlier variants,” she mentioned.

“Getting our boosters when eligible, following public well being recommendation about sporting a masks the place applicable continues to be actually vital to get us via the subsequent few months, particularly to cut back the pressure on our hospitals, nurses and medical doctors who’ve labored tirelessly during the last two years with no break,” she mentioned.


Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly mentioned the survey outcomes have been essential for informing Australia’s pandemic response.

The surveys are a part of the surveillance technique outlined within the Australian Nationwide Illness Surveillance Plan for COVID-19 that features case and mortality reporting, hospital surveillance, genomic sequencing and monitoring behaviour comparable to compliance with COVID-19 restrictions and public well being suggestions.

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