ATLANTA — The Braves will be among the teams participating in a Major League Baseball study that seeks to test individuals for coronavirus antibodies, an industry source confirmed to 11Alive's Alec McQuade.
The details of the team's participation are not yet known. The team declined to comment.
ESPN first reported on the study itself on Tuesday. It aims to test 10,000 volunteer players and employees of 27 MLB teams across the country to get a better understanding of how widely the novel coronavirus has spread.
Because of the apparent prevalence of asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic transmission of the coronavirus, it has been difficult for researchers and public health officials to get a grasp on the true scope of nationwide cases.
An Emory infectious disease expert who helped develop a landmark antibody test the school announced this week, told 11Alive's Cheryl Preheim such a test is important because it will give us a much better idea of how significant asymptomatic transmission has been.
"One of the things we had problems with early on, is that we couldn’t test everyone. Especially people with mild illness, because of the lack of testing to make the diagnosis," Dr. Aneesh Mehta said. "And now, we may be able to give them the answers whether they had it or not."
The MLB study is using a test developed by a private lab, Premier Biotech. It is being conducted by the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory (SMRTL) in association with Stanford University and the University of Southern California.
It will involve a simple pinprick blood test.
"We've got all the way from team owner all the way down to hot dog sales, and everything in between," Daniel Eichner, president and laboratory director at SMRTL told CNN. "That's really important for us is that we get a wide spread of the general population when we do this study."
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