MGH Wraps Up Testing in Antibody Study

Massachusetts General Hospital is set to finish testing about 1,000 Boston residents in a study examining coronavirus antibodies and community spread

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Testing is wrapping up and results should be in next week in a study of coronavirus antibodies at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Doctors say the data will give them insight into people’s immunity and ability to recover from the virus, which will help determine a strategy in returning to some semblance of normalcy.

"It's incredibly important to understand community prevalence of the disease," said Dr. Jennifer Trieu, medical director for Greater Roslindale Medical and Dental Center. "It's very, very important to understand how much disease is out there."

The study involves randomized testing of 1,000 residents of East Boston, Roslindale, and some parts of Dorchester, who were selected by the city of Boston. Mayor Marty Walsh announced the study Sunday, in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital.

The Bostonians who are participating in the study have not shown symptoms of the coronavirus, but live in neighborhoods that have been hit hard by the pandemic. They can expect to receive results by next week.

Boston will begin testing people for coronavirus antibodies to find those who may have had the virus but didn't show any symptoms.

The data will show doctors how many of these patients may have had asymptomatic cases of the disease. Nationwide, about 25% of people could be asymptomatic, unknowingly carrying and infecting others with the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Doctors administer the tests through traditional swabs and finger pricks to determine if there is an immune response to COVID-19.

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