Coronavirus in the Canary Islands: The Canary Islands begin the study of seroprevalence of the coronavirus this Monday - La Provincia


The Ministry of Health of the Canary Government will start tomorrow Monday, April 27, the work of the 'Sero-epidemiological survey of infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Spain', a study launched by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Institute of Health Carlos III and the National Statistics Institute (INE) to better understand the characteristics of the pandemic of COVID-19 in Spain and how it is affecting the health of the population.

The main objectives of this study are, on the one hand, to estimate the percentage of people who have been infected with COVID-19 so far in each province, autonomous community and throughout the country and, on the other hand, to obtain information on the transmission of the virus between people, within homes and at the community level.

The results obtained from this survey will allow community transmission of the virus to be monitored, identifying households that are free of the disease at first and its evolution over time, in addition to subsequently incorporating a specific substudy of transmission within homes following the specific protocols established by the WHO.

From the Canary Islands Government Health Department The population selected within this sample is encouraged and recommended to participate in the study, given the importance of the results obtained to address future decisions about the progressive return to normality after confinement and the state of alarm.

Sample in the Canary Islands

The INE has selected for all of Spain a total sample of 90,000 people. In the Canary Islands, the study will be carried out, as long as 100% of those selected agree to participate, to 7,920 people distributed by islands as follows: 2,040 in Gran Canaria, 1,980 in Tenerife, 1,020 in Lanzarote, 960 in Fuerteventura, 720 in La Palma, 600 in La Gomera and 600 in El Hierro.

These 7,920 people correspond to 1,608 households in the province of Las Palmas (816 in Gran Canaria, 408 in Lanzarote and 384 in Fuerteventura), and 1,560 in the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (792 in Tenerife, 288 in La Palma, 240 in La Gomera and 240 in El Hierro).

Survey methodology

This study plans to carry out a survey and a test to detect the presence of antibodies against COVID-19 in a representative sample of the population. Both the survey and the antibody test will be repeated three weeks and six weeks after the first, to see changes in the presence of antibodies.

For this, a series of households in each province, a total of 36,000 throughout Spain, have been selected following strictly statistical criteria, with whom they will be contacted by phone to inform them of the study and, if they are willing to participate, agree on the date for the first visit at the health center or at home. In addition, this call will collect basic information about the characteristics of the home and about who currently lives in it.

On the day of the home visit, the study will first be informed again and the informed consent to participate will be collected from each of the household members, including minors and people who are unable to decide on their participation.

The decision to participate or not in the study is therefore voluntary and individual, some people being able to participate yes and others no.

Each person who agrees to participate will be given a brief survey, of about 30 questions, to find out if they have been previously diagnosed with COVID-19, if they have or have had symptoms compatible with this disease, if they have any risk factors for developing COVID -19 serious, as well as if you have had contact with any infected person.

In this first visit, the rapid antibody test will be performed on all those who agree to participate. This test is performed with a finger prick and the results are obtained in about 15 minutes. In addition, participants will be asked to carry out a blood extraction in order to be able to analyze it using more precise techniques for measuring antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

Each participant will be given the result of the rapid test, along with general information on measures to prevent COVID-19 infection.

Both the survey data and the test results will be collected in a web application for internal use by the health managers participating in the study. In this way, the information will be quickly available in a central database and this will allow the analysis of the situation to be carried out as the information is collected. In addition, a telephone line will be established to answer possible questions from the participants.

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