Unusual Covid-19 Study Gearing up in Central Texas

Barbara Schwarz
July 04, 2020 - 11:24 am

    DALLAS (KRLD) - Waco doctors, including Baylor University researchers, are recruiting up to 750 McLennan county residents who are not, and have not been sick.  It's called the Waco COVID Antibody Study. 

    Waco family physician Tim Martindale says the state has been wrestling with measures like shelter in place and face masks to lower risk of infection. 

    He says they only know when things are happening when people get the virus.  Volunteers will be interviewed and asked about their risks and have blood drawn which will be tested for antibodies, which means they have been exposed. 

    There will be several blood draws per participant.  "By doing that, we'll get a better estimate of how much asymptomatic transmission is out there and who is actually getting infections."

    He says many of their illnesses are being contracted by exposure to people who have zero symptoms.   "Mapping that out over a few months time, and over a wide distribution of types of individuals within the city should give us solid information that's able to help leaders make solid decision about how much it's ok to open up the community and how much we need to quarantine,"

    Martindale, who is a Covid-19 survivor, says they are stymied by the lack of confident information so they can set up policies for the public that are safe.  "We've been wrestling with things like shelter in place, closing down businesses, wearing face masks, changing times when people are away from their work because of exposure.  This information is very inadequate because it's so anecdotal.  We only know when things are happening when people call us and we don't have the whole story."

    He says "We need to have some solid evidence-based knowledge that helps us to know how much to open and how much to close.  Who is contagious and who is not.  Where are the risks and where are the risks low."

    You can find more information here.