How widespread is the Coronavirus? RKI will start massive testing program

How widespread is the Coronavirus? RKI will start massive testing program

In order to determine how many people in Germany have already made a Sars-CoV-2 infection, the Robert-Koch-Institute now three major anti-body studies. Thus, it is to estimate the spread of the Virus better. With the first results, scientists expected already in may.

In Germany, an infection with Sars-CoV-2 is to be reported. Nevertheless, the official registration figures reflect how you post about the States or the Robert-Koch Institute, only a part of the actual infections. The reason is that Not everyone Infected develops severe symptoms, that he goes to see a doctor. And: Not everyone with symptoms is being tested.

Moreover, with the currently used PCR testing, only an acute infection can be demonstrated-whether the Person had the Virus already and now again is healed. The actual extent of the Corona to estimate the epidemic in Germany, would have to be the clear, however. The only way scientists could make clear statements about the actual infection and death rates.  

Reported corona virus cases in Germany (click on your state)


“We expect a more accurate picture of the Sars-CoV-2-Events in Germany”

Scientists from the Robert Koch-Institute now want to ensure clarity. With several large-scale, nationwide studies, the experts want to find out how many people in Germany have already made a Sars-CoV-2 infection by. So, who, at least for a certain period of time, immune to the Virus.

You want to examine, whether in the blood of the study participants, antibody against Sars-CoV-2 can be detected. This is a sure indication of a recent infection. “From these studies, we expect a more accurate picture of the Sars-CoV-2-Happen in Germany,” said Lothar Wieler, President of the RKI, on Monday. “The results of the antibody studies are of great importance to the history and Severity of the pandemic to more accurately assess the effectiveness of the measures taken can be better assessed.”

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Statistician Katharina Schüller: “the right way”

Also statistician Katharina Schüller, who is campaigning for several weeks for the implementation of a representative set of Tests, will find this very useful. “The RKI with this interdisciplinary and carried out, representative Tests, in exactly the right way,” she said to FOCUS Online.

“We, the statisticians advocate internationally for weeks for such studies in order to understand the spread and dynamics of SARS-CoV2, and to assess the effectiveness of the measures. Finally we come away from the opinions and reliable data.“ The statistician started a Petition to make aware of the issue.

Find out more:

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Three nationwide anti-body studies

The scientists want to perform three different studies. “The subjects to be representative of the population of key points ausgewählt", the Institute, told FOCUS Online. Volunteers could not therefore register in order to participate in the study. In the laboratory analysis, the RKI works closely with the Christian Drosten headed the Institute for Virology of the Charité.

Serological testing of blood donors

A first serological test (Test for antibodies) will next week take place. In cooperation with the blood donation services blood samples of adults from all over Germany to anti-body. Every 14 days, the scientists want to analyze samples of about 5000 blood. You expect already in the beginning of may with the first results.

Seroepidemiological studies of particularly affected places

Furthermore, the scientists will conduct samples of the so-called “Hotspots”, so at most affected locations to be able to the immunities in the local population, estimate. In this case, be examined in any place around 2000 sample Andean and behavior, clinical symptoms, previous illnesses, health, life circumstances and mental health questioned.

The study is expected to begin in mid-April, starting in may, the scientists expect the first results.

The places for the samples of particularly affected counties and for the nation-wide study could not call the RKI to the requests of the FOCUS Online. The “Hotspot”studies will be shared with scientists around Gérard Krause from the Helmholtz centre for infection research in Braunschweig carried out.

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Nationwide representative of the population seroepidemiological study

In a third study, the researchers plan to determine the distribution of antibodies in a nationwide representative sample. In addition, 15,000 persons are to be examined from the age of 18 to 150 study sites. In addition, the participants to the clinical symptoms, pre-existing conditions, behaviour, health, life circumstances and mental health questioned. The beginning of the study is expected in mid-may 2020, with the initial results, the scientists expect in June 2020.

The scientists hope to be able to with the three studies, the actual spread of the Virus, the immunity, the proportion of asymptomatic infections, the actual mortality rate and the risk factors for a severe course in of the population in Germany is better estimate.

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