SCOPI: COVID-19 antibody research study results
The HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) and UCD National Virus Reference Laboratory (NVRL) have completed a study about coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in Ireland.
The study is referred to as SCOPI. The main aim was to find out how widely coronavirus has spread in Ireland and what age groups are affected.
The study involved answering a questionnaire over the phone and having a blood test at a local centre to test for coronavirus antibodies. Participants were provided with their individual results by letter. Their GP was also provided with the result if the participant consented to this.
1,733 people aged 12 to 69 years answered the questionnaire and provided a blood sample.
The study’s results found that:
- 33 people were found to have coronavirus antibodies
- the proportion of people between 12 and 69 years of age with coronavirus antibodies among the population of Dublin was estimated at 3.1% and among the population of Sligo was estimated at 0.6%
- there was no difference in the results between age groups or between men and women
- 73% of participants with coronavirus antibodies reported symptoms in line with the national case definition for coronavirus - fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell, or loss of sense of taste
- 33% reported loss of sense of smell and/or taste
Based on the results, it is estimated that:
- the proportion of people between 12 and 69 years of age with coronavirus antibodies among the population living in Ireland was estimated at 1.7%
- 59,500 people in Ireland aged between 12 and 69 years of age have been infected with coronavirus. This is 3 times higher than the number of confirmed cases in the age group 12 to 69 years
- the vast majority of people living in Ireland are unlikely to have been infected with coronavirus by the time of the study
The results of the SCOPI study highlights the continued importance of public health measures until a vaccine for COVID-19 is available.
Download the full SCOPI: COVID-19 antibody research study results report