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Antibody study shows one in thirty Slovenians exposed to coronavirus

Ljubljana, 6 May - A nationwide antibody study has found that one in thirty Slovenians has probably been exposed to the novel coronavirus. This means that about 2-4% of the population has gained immunity to Covid-19, show the results of the study released on Wednesday.

Munich, Germany
Coronavirus nasal swab testing.
Photo: dpa/STA

Among 1,368 persons tested, 41 or 3.1% had antibodies in their blood samples and two tested positive for Covid-19, according to Mario Poljak, a researcher at the Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, which led the study.

Given that the sample was representative of the entire population, researchers can say with 95% certainty that 2-4% of the population had had an immune response to Covid-19.

While similar studies have been conducted in other countries, Poljak said this was the first study in the world to measure the immunity of a representative sample of the population and the first to test for both Covid-19 (with nasal swabs) and immune response (blood sample).

What is more, the participants will be remotely monitored every two weeks for six months and tested again at the end of October, which will give public health authorities crucial data before a possible second wave of the epidemic.

Slovenia's official coronavirus case count rose by three to 1,448 by Tuesday and 99 deaths were reported.

sm/zm/ep
© STA, 2020