INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Doctors with the IU Fairbanks School of Public reveal results of phase one of their COVID-19 study.
From April 26th through May 1st, the IU Fairbanks School of Public Health tested 4,611 Hoosiers for COVID-19 and it’s antibodies.
Around 3,600 were randomly chosen, with an additional 900 volunteers selected to represent the state’s demographics.
“Ideally we would like to test every single Hoosier but the next best thing to doing that is random sample testing,” said Dr. Paul Halverson, Fairbanks School of Public Health founding dean.
Of those tested through the study, 1.7 percent tested positive for COVID-19 and 1.1 percent tested positive for antibodies.
Leaders of the study say this data shows that by the end of April an estimated 186,000 Hoosiers were or had been infected with COVID-19.
This data shows that the number of those infected with COVID-19 is around 11 times higher than what conventional testing numbers showed during that same time.
Of those who tested positive, 44.8 percent also did not report any symptoms of the virus.
Doctors also say that the study estimates Indiana’s infection-fatality rate is 0.58 percent, which is nearly six times the rate of the seasonal flu.
“It is important to stress that the vast majority of people in Indiana have not been infected and represent the minimum pool of still susceptible individuals,” said Dr. Nir Menachemi, Fairbanks School of Public Health chair.
Menachemi says findings from the study indicate that Indiana’s social distancing guidelines are working.
“By slowing the spread of the virus, we now have bought some time to determine the best way forward,” Menachemi said.
Menachemi also says he believes a prolonged shutdown is not an option in response to the virus, but instead is encouraging that caution should be taken as the economy reopens.
“All safeguards, all public health measures need to be doubled and tripled up that includes the masks, the distancing, no large gatherings,” Menachemi said.
Menachemi says these findings are preliminary and some small changes could be made.
Phase two of the study is set to begin in early June.