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PLoS One. 2021 Oct 25; 16 (10): e0259070. doi: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0259070. Electronic collection 2021.
Public health surveillance systems are likely to underestimate the true prevalence and incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection due to limited access to testing and the high proportion of subclinical infections in the clinics. community settings. This ongoing prospective observational study aimed to generate accurate estimates of the prevalence, incidence, and risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection among residents of a central county in North Carolina. From this cohort, we collected survey data and nasal swabs every two weeks and venous blood samples every month. Nasal swabs were tested for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus (evidence of active infection) and serum samples for antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 (evidence of previous infection). As of June 23, 2021, we have enrolled a total of 153 participants from one county with approximately 76,285 residents in total. The planned duration of the study is at least 24 months, pending the evolution of the pandemic. Study data is shared monthly with North Carolina state health authorities, and future analyzes aim to compare study data to statewide measures over time. Overall, the use of a probability sampling design and a well-characterized cohort will allow the collection of critical data that can be used in planning and policy decisions for North Carolina and that can be informative for d ‘other states with similar demographic characteristics.