The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is randomly inviting citizens to participate in a study to assess the spread of a new coronavirus (koronavirus, in Finnish) in the population. The study covers all age groups and is carried out in collaboration with university hospitals.
However, the emphasis is on the metropolitan area and working-age people. It is planned to invite 750 people per week for antibody testing.
The aim of the study is to estimate the proportion of the population infected with Covid-19. In addition, the study measures the amount of antibodies and monitors how long the antibodies last.
As a result of the illness and the asymptomatic infection, antibodies are formed in the body that can protect against a new infection. The proportion of people in the population who are newly infected with coronavirus can be assessed by an antibody test. However, antibodies are not detected until a couple of weeks after infection.
INVITED BY LETTER
People are invited by letter on a random basis. Random sampling means that the participants in the study are selected by drawing lots and it ensures that they are representative of the Finnish population.
THL said in a press release, “The invitation is personal and no one else can participate on behalf of the invitee."
“The research sample is taken in the laboratory centers of university hospitals. Participation in the study is voluntary and people will be asked for written consent. They will be informed if antibodies are found,” THL adds.
The study will begin in early April and continue through the rest of the year. The first results are expected by the end of April.