The project used seroprevalence of antibodies to COVID as an indicator. Antibodies are created by a person’s immune system once they contract a virus or receive a vaccine to help fight a specific illness, according to a UAMS press release.
Dr. Joshua Kennedy, associate professor for the UAMS College of Medicine who treats patients at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, was the lead author of the report. Arkansas’ minorities getting the virus at such a large rate is problematic, he said.
The number of Arkansans, regardless of ethnicity, exposed to COVID increased from 2.6% to 7.4% from August 2020 to December 2020. The study focused on three specific time periods during the aforementioned August to December span. Throughout the study, Hispanics and Blacks were more likely than whites to have antibodies to COVID.
Studies are ongoing as for the reasons why Blacks and Hispanics in Arkansas have higher COVID infection rates than whites. Following are possible reasons given by researchers that contribute to the higher COVID infection rates.
• Structural racism
• Inadequate food options
• Being from low-income households
• Holding jobs that didn’t provide the option of working from home
• Having limited access to a primary care physician
• Limited access to adequate health care coverage
Read the full article from Talk Business and Politics here.