The National Institutes of Health is looking for up to 10,000 volunteers to be a part of a study to determine how many Americans have been infected with Covid-19 and not known it.
This “serosurvey” will give researchers critical information that will help them create better epidemiological models to understand how the disease spreads undetected. The work will also help researchers determine what communities have been most impacted by this particular coronavirus.
The NIH is asking for healthy volunteers from around the country who are 18 or older and have no confirmed history of infection. Volunteers will be enrolled over the phone and will attend a virtual clinical visit. They’ll complete questions about their health, provide basic demographic information and then, if they don’t live near the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, they’ll be sent a kit that will let them draw their blood at home and send the samples back to the NIH.
“This study will give us a clearer picture of the true magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States by telling us how many people in different communities have been infected without knowing it, because they had a very mild, undocumented illness or did not access testing while they were sick,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH’s National Insitute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a statement. “These crucial data will help us measure the impact of our public health efforts now and guide our COVID-19 response moving forward."