Half of the adult population caught COVID before the latest Omicron surge

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NSW had the best prevalence of nucleocapsid protein antibodies (49.8 per cent), adopted by Queensland (48.9 per cent) and Victoria (46.5 per cent). Western Australia had the bottom antibody prevalence (37.5 per cent), up from 0.5 per cent in late February.

The prevalence of the virus detected within the blood samples was two instances increased than the variety of COVID-19 case notifications from PCR and fast checks within the two weeks earlier than the blood samples had been collected.

Machalek stated the true prevalence of COVID-19 infections locally was even increased, partly as a result of the take a look at used to detect the COVID-related antibodies picks up solely 78 to 80 per cent, that means greater than 20 per cent may very well be missed.

“We additionally know that antibodies wane over time, so there is likely to be individuals who had been contaminated in 2020 or 2021 we’re not selecting up,” she stated.

Professor James McCaw, infectious illness epidemiologist and member of the Australian Well being Safety Principal Committee stated COVID-19 prevalence would in all probability rise once more when the subsequent serosurvey – resulting from be performed in early August – picks up folks contaminated through the present BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron wave.

“I don’t count on we’ll get to 100 per cent [infection prevalence], nevertheless it is determined by how large this BA.4/BA.5 wave is,” McCaw stated.

The blood samples had been collected from Australian Pink Cross Lifeblood donor centres between June 9 and 18 and had been additionally examined for COVID-related spike antibodies, that are produced by each pure an infection and vaccination. Ninety-nine per cent had these antibodies, reflecting Australia’s excessive vaccination charge.

“The message is just not ‘everybody goes to get COVID so what’s the purpose of getting vaccinated’,” Machalek stated.

“Vaccination is especially vital once we know the newer subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are higher at escaping immunity than earlier variants,” she stated.

“Getting our boosters when eligible, following public well being recommendation about carrying a masks the place acceptable continues to be actually vital to get us by way of the subsequent few months, particularly to scale back the pressure on our hospitals, nurses and medical doctors who’ve labored tirelessly over the past two years with no break,” she stated.

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Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly stated the survey outcomes had been essential for informing Australia’s pandemic response.

The surveys are a part of the surveillance technique outlined within the Australian Nationwide Illness Surveillance Plan for COVID-19 that features case and mortality reporting, hospital surveillance, genomic sequencing and monitoring behaviour similar to compliance with COVID-19 restrictions and public well being suggestions.

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