Coronavirus may have have arrived in Ohio 2 months earlier than first confirmed case

Antibody test.
(Image credit: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

The coronavirus may have found its way into Ohio far earlier than previously thought, antibody tests suggest. The Columbus Dispatch reports that six people who in January reported symptoms apparently consistent with COVID-19 tested positive for antibodies. The earliest sign of illness was reportedly Jan. 7, which is more than two months before the state's first confirmed cases on March 9.

There's a lot of uncertainty about the "probable" cases, and the news doesn't mean the virus was spreading rapidly throughout their community at that point (the scientific consensus remains that the virus was almost certainly present in the United States in January, but that cases were likely limited). It wasn't revealed if the individuals had traveled anywhere or had connections to other cases, and, of course, some antibody tests have produced high false-positive rates.

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