Americans likely infected with COVID far earlier than 'first' US case: CDC study

Americans likely infected with COVID far earlier than 'first' US case: CDC study

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first detected the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in a Washington state patient on January 20, 2020. But a new CDC study shows that Americans were likely infected with the novel coronavirus much earlier.

The CDC has now studied thousands of blood donations from the Red Cross taken between December 13 and January 17, and found the antibodies produced in response to the potentially deadly virus in more than 100 samples, CNN and the Wall Street Journal report.

"The 7,389 samples, collected from nine states, were tested for SARS-CoV-2 reactive antibodies. SARS-CoV-2 is the scientific name for the coronavirus that causes Covid-19," CNN reports. "Of the samples tested, at least 106 were found to have antibodies for SARS-CoV-2, including ones collected from California, Oregon and Washington from Dec. 13 through Dec. 16, 2019."

The Wall Street Journal notes this timeline suggests the virus was already present in the U.S. "a few weeks before it was officially identified in China and about a month earlier than public health authorities found the first U.S. case."

The CDC "also found 67 samples with antibodies in Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin or Iowa, and Connecticut or Rhode Island," meaning the virus antibodies were not just found on the West Coast.

U.S. Intelligence multiple times briefed the White House of the brewing "cataclysmic" pandemic in China as early as November.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close