HSE launches Prevalence of COVID-19 Antibodies in Irish Healthcare Workers (PRECISE) Study


The PRECISE Study will look at rates of previous COVID-19 infections in healthcare workers in St James’s Hospital (SJH), Dublin and University Hospital Galway (GUH). Over the next two weeks, staff in both hospitals will be invited to have a simple blood test to determine the presence of COVID-19 antibodies. The study will be repeated in six months and the data compared. Participation is voluntary and open to all staff across all departments in both hospitals.

The PRECISE Study aims to calculate the prevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies, or COVID-19 antibodies in healthcare workers in two hospitals in two distinct areas of the country. It will help the health service better understand this new infection, including the risk factors relevant to healthcare workers, for example the areas they work in and the type of patient exposure they have, as well as factors such as their sex, age and living arrangements.

It will help the health services to broadly estimate the number of healthcare workers that may have some degree of immunity to COVID-19 infection and those that are still at risk of contracting the virus. It will identify the proportion of healthcare staff who have the antibodies present but were asymptomatic and therefore possible unaware of their exposure to the virus. All of the information gained from this study will ultimately help the health services prepare for increasing number of cases.

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