Iceland laboratory testing for coronavirus indicates 50 percent of coronavirus cases don’t have any symptoms, which is surprising and alarming at the same time.
There’s so much about Iceland that other nations could desire: its magnificent natural environment, its location among happiest countries in the world, and, today, its large-scale testing for Coronavirus, which might influence the way the world knows the outbreak.
Specialists have said extensive testing for coronavirus is essential for controlling coronavirus and producing a more precise image of this spread of Covid-19. This island-nation of 360,000 is currently doing that.
Iceland had analyzed over 17,900 people by Tuesday. And though its National University Hospital examines individuals who are at high-risk or show symptoms, almost half of Iceland’s evaluations are run by biopharma company deCODE Genetics, concentrating in the broader population.
DeCODE’s screening program accepts everybody who’s not displaying symptoms and not now in quarantine, Iceland’s Directorate of Health said, adding that Iceland-based firm was doing it on behalf of the Chief Epidemiologist and the health bureau.
What have been the main findings?
DeCODE, a subsidiary of US biotech firm Amgen, has up to now tested about 9,000 self-selected people.
“The results of the additional tests conducted by deCODE have given a sign that attempts to reduce the spread of the virus have been successful so far,” the government wrote last week, including “testing for coronavirus in the overall population will proceed to obtain a much clearer picture of the true spread of this SARS-CoV-2 virus in Iceland.”
Some of the revelations have been crude. Although fewer than 1 percent of those tests came back positive for the virus, the corporation’s head Dr. Kári Stefánsson told CNN that approximately 50% of those who tested positive stated they were asymptomatic, confirming several studies that show that asymptomatic, or mildly symptomatic, individuals have played an essential part in spreading the virus.
“What it means in my mind, is that because we’re testing the general population, we’re recognizing people early in the disease before they start showing symptoms,” Stefánsson stated.
“Keep in mind that the screening is now randomized, but voluntary so there’s some bias in the information,” that the Directorate of Health said in a statement, adding that “randomized testing for coronavirus program has begun and a blood serum testing for antibodies is intended.”
The work has also supported researchers to reflect the spread of the virus. “We can determine the geographical origin of this virus in every single person in Iceland,” he said, adding that there are specific, small mutations for the virus which originated from Italy, Austria, and the United Kingdom. “There was one that’s specific to the west coast of America,” he added.
Stefánsson wonders, if mutations in the virus are “responsible, in some manner, for how otherwise people respond to it — some only develop a mild cold, though some people today require a respirator,” or if an individual’s genetics dictates their disease.
“Or is it a combination of those two?” He asks.
His company is in a much better place than most to answer that question, as it has the medical and genotype information of almost half of Iceland’s population.
Germany is Conducting Europe’s first nationally COVID-19 antibody testing.
An assistant of The German Red Cross DRK in the suit left takes a sample from a firefighter during the formal launch of a drive-through COVID-19 testing center on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, at the fairground in Dresden, Eastern Germany.
- The Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s national disease prevention, and control bureau said in a statement interpreted by NPR that it’s started nationwide COVID-19 antibody testing.
- Officials in Germany believe that individuals who’ve had COVID-19 should have immunity from contracting the virus again, even though it’s unknown how long it lasts or if radicals give complete immunity.
- The nation will use antibody testing to help track the spread of the coronavirus.
- Germany is the first European nation to run nationwide antibody testing.
Germany is executing nationwide testing for coronavirus antibodies, becoming the first nation to do so.
The Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s national disease control and prevention bureau, said in a statement interpreted by NPR, the serological tests, also called antibody tests, helps officials track the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The institute assumes that individuals who’ve suffered the infection — all of them should now have COVID-19 antibodies in their blood — should have immunity from contracting the virus again. However, it’s unknown how long it lasts or if antibodies give full immunity.
Germany, a country with a population of 83 million people, has had 149,381 confirmed cases, 5,140 deaths from the virus.
The country has tested in an effort for COVID-19 on a larger scale compared to other nations in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Officials have been testing around 120,000 people per day.
Antibody testing has been viewed as a critical measure for reopening public spaces. However, the World Health Organization advised on Friday that antibodies can not guarantee longterm resistance to COVID-19.
The WHO said antibody tests can show whether a person has contracted the virus, but not necessarily if they are immune to infection.
The science surrounding antibody testing is still evolving, also, and concerns have emerged around the evaluations being inaccurate, hurried, and improperly marketed. Over 100 companies are selling such tests in the US, but the US Food and Drug Administration has only approved a few.
The antibody testing of Germany might help provide information on the number of individuals who have antibodies, at what levels, and what protection they could give against the novel virus. The program launched last week, and officials anticipate results sometime in May.
Officials Said nationwide testing will take place in three parts. First, officials will test samples from people who have given blood. Then, they will seek samples from those in areas hit by the coronavirus, and finally, they intend to explore the larger population of Germany.
The Koch Institute said, every 2 weeks, officials expect to test 5,000 blood samples.
“It is yet unknown how many people in Germany have really gone through an illness and are therefore immune,” that the Koch Institute stated in an April 9 press release interpreted by NPR. “The infection is usually mild or even unnoticed.