Fayette County hospital conducts COVID-19 antibody study

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MONTGOMERY, WV (WOWK) – With the number of positive COVID-19 cases rising, many health professionals are collecting data to find out more about the coronavirus and its effect on the community.

Doctors at Montgomery General Hospital recently partnered with investigators at West Virginia University to participate in a COVID-19 antibody and epidemiology study.

Researchers want to better understand how the virus can spread in asymptomatic people in less populated areas. 

“A lot of these modeling studies you see on TV basically are modeled for urban-type areas. We’re not sure one of those models apply to rural areas,” Dr. Robert Eggleston, Chief of Internal Medicine said.

The hospital had a COVID-19 outbreak in May. Now, it’s September. This means a lot of patients and staff that had the virus may still have antibodies.

“The question is are those antibodies still present? So, it’ll give us some information about maybe how long antibodies last and give us information about how the virus spreads in a rural area,” Dr. Eggleston said.

In this study, blood was drawn from more than 160 people, and other studies like it are going on all over the country.

“The more information we get, the more we know and the better our future decisions will be,” Dr. Eggleston said.

Researchers involved with the study will be analyzing the data and hope to have results within the next month.

When the results come back they will hopefully be used to generate models to predict the spread of COVID-19 in rural areas.

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