Blood tests from 400 people show that 2 out of 100 have coronavirus antibodies. This indicates that a small part of the population has been infected, according to the researchers.
The blood tests were taken last week by 397 participants in the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Survey (MoBa). Everyone who has been tested so far lives in Oslo, which is the county with the most reported coronary cases per inhabitant.
The results were announced on Thursday morning. Preliminary calculations show that the proportion of antibodies detected is less than 2 per cent.
– The results show that very few people have had the infection so far, says project manager Per Magnus at the Institute of Public Health (FHI).
Random people from the MoBa study were invited to be tested – regardless of whether they have been infected or if they have had respiratory symptoms.
The analyses of antibodies were done with a test developed by two research groups led by Fridtjof Lund-Johansen and Jan Terje Andersen at the Department of Immunology and Transfusion Medicine at Oslo University Hospital (OUS).
The method is comparable to commercial tests that are being tested at the Department of Microbiology at OUS – and everything points in the same direction.
Vulnerable to new outbreaks
The researchers say that the samples show that the Norwegian population shows little evidence of a transmitted infection.
– The population is therefore vulnerable to new outbreaks of Covid-19, says project manager Magnus.
Over the coming weeks, the Institute of Public Health will continue testing through various population surveys. This will provide sounder results when it comes to antibodies .
Two different samples
The blood test for antibodies differs from the virus test (PCR test), which is taken with a swab in the nose or throat and shows whether the person has the virus in the body or has recently had it.
Today, antibody test offers are only given to specific population groups, but this will be expanded as test capacity increases.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today