JHU Study: Autopsies show high rate of deceased people had COVID-19 antibodies

Posted at 12:36 PM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 16:43:27-05

BALTIMORE — A new Johns Hopkins University study found 10 percent of deceased people who underwent forensic autopsies in Baltimore, had coronavirus antibodies.

Blood samples were taken from 500 decedents whose autopsies were performed in the month of June.

It found antibodies were more prevalent among Hispanics, which reflects how that particular race was impacted by the virus in Baltimore around that same time.

The results were apparently higher than any geographic area outside of New York City, during that time frame.

“We may expand our understanding of [COVID-19] spread by incorporating antibody testing in decedents,”said lead author Keri Althoff, associate professor of epidemiology at the Bloomberg School.

Maryland requires an autopsy be conducted on anyone who died suddenly or unexpectedly, in a car crash, from homicide, suicide, or a drug overdose.

Those who died in motor vehicle accidents were found to have the same proportion of antibodies as those who passed of natural causes.

Johns Hopkins believes the study is the first of its kind to be published in Maryland.