- Title: German scientists begin study into COVID-19 spread, start testing
- Date: 3rd July 2020
- Summary: REUTLINGEN, GERMANY (JULY 3, 2020) (REUTERS) ***WARNING:CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF MEDICAL STAFF MEMBER TAKING BLOOD SAMPLE FROM VOLUNTEER STEFFI NUTT INSIDE CONTAINER SET UP FOR STUDY INVOLVING TESTS OF UP TO 3,000 PEOPLE VARIOUS OF VOLUNTEERS WAITING OUTSIDE CONTAINERS SET UP IN PARKING LOT VARIOUS OF REUTLINGEN COUNTY COMMISSIONER THOMAS REUMANN (ON LEFT) WEARING MASK STANDING OUTSIDE AT TABLE (SOUNDBITE) (German) REUTLINGEN COUNTY COMMISSIONER, THOMAS REUMANN, SAYING: "We want to know how effective the measures are which we have taken so far in individual (gestures) social spheres. In other words: is it effective if we close kindergartens? Is it effective if we close companies?" VARIOUS OF NUTT SPEAKING TO MEDICAL STAFF MEMBER (SOUNDBITE) (German) VOLUNTEER PARTICIPATING IN TEST, STEFFI NUTT, SAYING: "I have not had any symptoms so far but I'm still interested to know if I was maybe in contact with the virus." SIGN IN GERMAN READING "HELMHOLTZ CENTRE FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASES RESEARCH / COUNTRYWIDE ANTI BODIES STUDY ON SARS-COV-2 VIRUS SPREAD" VARIOUS OF HELMHOLTZ CENTRE'S HEAD OF STUDY, PROF. GERARD KRAUSE, SPEAKING TO REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (German) HELMHOLTZ CENTRE HEAD OF STUDY, GERARD KRAUSE, SAYING: "We will be able to compare different places because we use the same method in different cities. We are also able to trace back developments. We can see how quickly the percentage of the population with anti bodies is rising. In addition we are carrying out a partial study on how long anti bodies actually last once they appear. All of this data will help us develop vaccination strategies." KRAUSE SPEAKING TO REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (German) HELMHOLTZ CENTRE HEAD OF STUDY, GERARD KRAUSE, SAYING: "We are in cooperation with Robert Koch institute (for public health) so for example, we made sure to ask similar questions so that the data is similar and can be evaluated." VARIOUS OF CAMERA CREWS (SOUNDBITE) (German) REUTLINGEN COUNTY COMMISSIONER, THOMAS REUMANN, SAYING: "In April, we carried out a blanket test of all 37 old people's homes and nursing homes, more than 4,000 tests. By doing so we discovered that of those who tested positive more than 70% had no idea that they were infected." VOLUNTEER STEFFI NUTT LEAVING CONTAINER
- Embargoed: 17th July 2020 13:45
- Keywords: coronavirus scientists spread of virus testing volunteer
- Location: REUTLINGEN, GERMANY
- City: REUTLINGEN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA001CL98K07
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:German scientists began a nationwide study on Friday (July 3) to gain a better overview of the actual prevalence of the new coronavirus in the country's population and test how well measures to prevent its spread are working.
The study by the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) will start by testing around 3,000 blood samples from residents in the southern German town of Reutlingen for antibodies created when immune system fights the coronavirus.
Scientists will conduct five different antibody tests on each sample. The study will take place over a period of one year, with additional blood samples being collected and tested again in selected districts across Germany four and eight months after the first survey.
Antibody studies, also known as seroprevalence research, are considered critical to understanding where an outbreak is spreading and can help guide decisions on restrictions needed to contain it.
Gerard Krause, coordinator of the study and head of the Department of Epidemiology at the HZI in Braunschweig, said the results will help better understand how long the antibodies stay in the body and allow policymakers to refine vaccination strategies.
The first results from the Reutlingen study are expected in the autumn.
(Production: Romana Fuessel, Ralph Brock, Michele Sani)
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