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How Many Have Had COVID-19 But Didn’t Know It?

December 12, 2022

Comparing blood test results and interview responses from a recent survey showed that 41.6% of adults had been infected with COVID-19, but 43.7% of those infected reported that they had never had COVID-19, indicating asymptomatic infection. Black adults and those with less than a high school education were the most likely to be infected without knowing it, showing a disparity in COVID-19 transmission in different communities.

These are preliminary results from a partial sample of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, with support from Westat. More information about this study can be found in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: SARS-CoV-2 Serology and Self-Reported Infection Among Adults — National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, United States, August 2021–May 2022. Westat coauthors Jay Clark, MS, Minsun Riddles, PhD, and Leyla Mohadjer, PhD, contributed to this report.


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