Population Point Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Based on a Statewide Random Sample - Indiana, April 25-29, 2020

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Jul 24;69(29):960-964. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6929e1.


Population prevalence of persons infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), varies by subpopulation and locality. U.S. studies of SARS-CoV-2 infection have examined infections in nonrandom samples (1) or seroprevalence in specific populations* (2), which are limited in their generalizability and cannot be used to accurately calculate infection-fatality rates. During April 25-29, 2020, Indiana conducted statewide random sample testing of persons aged ≥12 years to assess prevalence of active infection and presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2; additional nonrandom sampling was conducted in racial and ethnic minority communities to better understand the impact of the virus in certain racial and ethnic minority populations. Estimates were adjusted for nonresponse to reflect state demographics using an iterative proportional fitting method. Among 3,658 noninstitutionalized participants in the random sample survey, the estimated statewide point prevalence of active SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing was 1.74% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.10-2.54); 44.2% of these persons reported no symptoms during the 2 weeks before testing. The prevalence of immunoglobulin G (IgG) seropositivity, indicating past infection, was 1.09% (95% CI = 0.76-1.45). The overall prevalence of current and previous infections of SARS-CoV-2 in Indiana was 2.79% (95% CI = 2.02-3.70). In the random sample, higher overall prevalences were observed among Hispanics and those who reported having a household contact who had previously been told by a health care provider that they had COVID-19. By late April, an estimated 187,802 Indiana residents were currently or previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 (9.6 times higher than the number of confirmed cases [17,792]) (3), and 1,099 residents died (infection-fatality ratio = 0.58%). The number of reported cases represents only a fraction of the estimated total number of infections. Given the large number of persons who remain susceptible in Indiana, adherence to evidence-based public health mitigation and containment measures (e.g., social distancing, consistent and correct use of face coverings, and hand hygiene) is needed to reduce surge in hospitalizations and prevent morbidity and mortality from COVID-19.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • COVID-19
  • Child
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / ethnology
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indiana / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / ethnology
  • Prevalence
  • Public Health Surveillance / methods*
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult