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Danish health agency says 400,000 could have been infected

Denmark's infectious diseases agency SSI has estimated that the true number of people who have had coronavirus is between 30 and 80 times larger than the roughly 5,000 who have so far tested positive.

Danish health agency says 400,000 could have been infected
The estimate is built in part on analysis of 1,000 samples of blood given by donors. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
This means that as many as 400,000 people in the country could have already been infected with the virus. 
 
The shock figure, which draws on analysis of blood donors in the country, was included in a status report published on Tuesday by the Danish Health Authority. 
 
“There is a lot of contagion in Danish society, and there is a huge dark figure,” Kåre Mølbak, the agency's head, told the Berlingske newspaper. 
 
“In the blood donor studies that have been done, you can see that maybe 70 times more people have had the infection than we can see in the statistics.” 
 
A study of 1,000 blood donations given between April 1 and April 3 found that 3.5 percent had been infected with the virus, which  would indicate that 65,000 people had probably already been infected by March 26. 
 
SSI's estimate also drew on studies made in Germany and Iceland. 
 

 

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COVID-19

New Covid-19 wave in Sweden ‘to peak at end of September’

Sweden's Public Health Agency has warned of a new autumn wave of Covid-19 which it expects to peak at the end of September.

New Covid-19 wave in Sweden 'to peak at end of September'

According to both of the two new scenarios published by the agency on Monday, infection rates are set to rise steadily over the next month, something the agency said was due to a falling immunity in the population and greater contact between people as they return to schools and workplaces after the summer. 

“It is difficult to say how high the peak will be, but it is unlikely that it will reach the same levels as in January and February,” the agency’s unit chief Sara Byfors said in a press release. “The most important thing is that people in risk groups and those who are 65 years old and above get vaccinated with a booster dose in the autumn to reduce the risk of serious illness and death.” 

Under Scenario 0, the amount of contact between people stays at current levels, leading to a peak in reported Covid-19 cases at around 5,000 a day. In Scenario 1, contact between people increases by about 10 percent from the middle of August, leading to a higher peak of about 7,000 reported cases a day. 

The agency said that employers should be prepared for many staff to be off sick simultaneously at points over the next month, but said in its release that it did not judge the situation to be sufficiently serious to require either it or the government to impose additional infection control measures. 

It was important, however, it said, that those managing health and elderly care continued to test those with symptoms and to track the chain of infections, that people go and get the booster doses when they are supposed to have under the vaccination programme, and that those who have symptoms of Covid-19 stay home. 

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