By Damon Mitchell • 29 May 2020 • 17:01
PORTUGAL’S Covid-19 National Serological Survey has been running since May 25 and hopes to estimate the incidence rate of infection by the coronavirus among the country’s residents
The National Institute Ricardo Jorge (INSA) announced this population survey which includes five cross-sectional epidemiological studies and aims to assess the presence of antibodies against the coronavirus and to monitor its evolution over a period of time.
A total of 1,720 people aged from 10 years upwards and 352 children up to nine years of age will be selected by 100 laboratories or hospitals of the National Health Service to carry out routine laboratory analyses.
Ana Paula Rodrigues, from the Department of Epidemiology at INSA, said that “very close monitoring of this work” will be carried out, counting daily how many participants have already been selected to make “some adjustments to the fieldwork” so that it can be completed within the scheduled period.
“We then intend to have this estimate by age group and by health region in order to be able to compare them with each other, and another objective is to estimate the proportion of infections that will have been asymptomatic or with very slight symptoms, that is, people who have antibodies against the new coronavirus, but have had no symptoms in the previous two months,” she explained.
The means of selection of participants has already been used in previous studies, such as the one carried out ‘on vaccine-preventable diseases,’ in which people who go for routine blood tests at their laboratories, are invited to participate in the study.
“The participation consists of giving a very small amount of blood from the sample already taken initially and to then answer a small health questionnaire to mention whether the person had symptoms suggestive of the disease in the previous two months,” she added.
The results of this first study should be made public during the month of July.
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