UK Biobank reveals substantial variation in rates of previous COVID-19 infection across the UK, Biobank

UK Biobank today (30 July 2020) published the first results from a major government-backed study of the extent of previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 in different populations across the UK. It found evidence of previous infection in 7.1% of the study population, but with large variation in the rates between different parts of the UK and between different demographic groups. This important study is determining the rates of previous infection in different parts of the country according to age, sex, ethnicity and socio-economic status, and monitoring how these rates change over time. Among people found to have been infected, it will also assess how long antibodies remain in the body, to help understand the potential for immunity. UK Biobank has recruited 20,000 volunteers, a combination of existing UK Biobank participants and their children and grandchildren aged over 18, in order to produce results that are representative of the UK population. They have agreed to provide a finger-prick sample of blood using a kit sent to their homes, and filling out a survey about any symptoms they have had, every month for at least 6 months. Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in these samples, which provide evidence of previous infection with the virus, are being measured in a central laboratory at Oxford University.
Source: Current Awareness Service for Health (CASH) - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

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