Study gives an overview of the prevalence of coronavirus by 25 January

This year’s first stage of the study on the prevalence of coronavirus in Estonia led by the University of Tartu starts today. The study stage is conducted until 24 January and assesses the prevalence of the coronavirus and its antibodies in the adult population. Among other things, it will give a more precise overview of the prevalence of the Omicron strain.

According to the leader of the prevalence study, Professor of Family Medicine of the University of Tartu Ruth Kalda, studies have shown the coronavirus Omicron strain to spread up to five times faster than the Delta variant but involve milder symptoms. So far, the new strain has been said to spread mainly among young people. “During this stage, all positive samples will be sequenced to be able to estimate the prevalence of the new strain in different age groups, and how many cases associated with this strain are with and without symptoms. It will also be interesting to see whether there are changes in the prevalence of antibodies among the adult population in the context of the fast spread of the new virus strain,” said Kalda.

During this stage, all positive samples will be sequenced to be able to estimate the prevalence of the new strain in different age groups, and how many cases associated with this strain are with and without symptoms.

Ruth Kalda, seireuuringu juht

Participation in the study

About 2,500 random-sampled adults are invited to participate in the survey from 11 to 24 January. The research company Kantar Emor carries out phone interviews with participants. After the interview, participants get a web link for registration to testing or a call from the Medicum and Synlab call centre to make an appointment for testing at a suitable testing site.

At the testing site, a nasopharyngeal sample is taken, and a venous blood sample to determine the level of antiviral antibodies. The procedure takes about 10 minutes. Disabled or elderly people and other people with impaired mobility can request to be visited by a test team at home..

The participants will be informed of the test results within three days.  The results will be entered in the patient portal. Persons who receive a positive test result will be contacted by the study team during two to four weeks to monitor the progress of the disease.

The study is carried out by a broad-based research group of the University of Tartu in cooperation with Synlab Eesti, Medicum and Kantar Emor. For more information about the detection of Covid-19 antibodies, see the coronavirus testing website. For more information about the coronavirus prevalence study, see the University of Tartu website.

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