Article

Coronavirus: Less than one per cent of MLB employees test positive for COVID-19 antibodies

May 11 2020 12:36 AM

Only 0.7 per cent of MLB employees tested positive for coronavirus antibodies from a study commissioned last month.

A total of 26 Major League Baseball teams volunteered to participate in a coronavirus antibody study.

Of the 10,000 employees to be tested, data on approximately 5,600 employees has been analysed for the antibodies. 

The antibodies IgM and IgG are produced by the human immune system after a person has been infected with a virus. From this sample, 60 people tested positive for the COVID-19 antibodies. 

“I was expecting a larger number,” Dr. Jay Bhattacharya at Stanford, one the study's leaders, said. 

"It shows the value of doing the science as opposed to guessing."

According to Bhattacharya, there are several reasons why this number was low. These included the fact 95 per cent of the tests conducted were on participants under the age of 65, 80 per cent of participants identified as white, very few had comorbidities, and were from a higher socioeconomic status. 

In general, these characteristics are low risk for those infected with COVID-19. 

''The MLB population is a special population. They're not representative of every city that they're in,'' Bhattacharya said.

''They also are more well-to-do than a typical population, so it's not representative. They have an organisation that allows us to sample in just two days' time in so many places all at once. And that's unique."

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