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Mortality Should Probably Be Counted In Promils: Danish Blood Tests Shed New Light On The Coronavirus

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Preliminary results from antibody testing must be taken with a number of caveats, the professor emphasizes.

Tests from 1,487 Danish blood donors may help shed new light on how deadly coronavirus really is.

The World Health Organization, WHO, has estimated that the figure is around one to three percent. But it may turn out to be high, according to calculations made at Rigshospitalet.

We arrive at a much lower figure of 1.6 per thousand. So if we have 1,000 Danes who have had this infection, there are one to two who have died with it, says Henrik Ullum, a consultant and professor at Rigshospitalet.

He, along with colleagues, underwent blood tests from just under 1,500 blood donors who received blood on Monday. The blood has been used to test for coronavirus antibodies and preliminary results shed new light on the number of infected.

High darkness over infected

Antibodies are formed when an infection with the virus is over. And it turns out that 22 of the 1,487 blood donors have formed antibodies.

If we assume that the blood donors are representative of the entire population, it is equivalent to 127,000 people in Denmark having been infected.

Thus, when 203 Danes are declared dead today with coronavirus, it gives a mortality of 0.16 percent – or 1.6 per thousand.

But blood donations are not representative of the entire population because they are generally healthier than the total population.

Therefore, the actual number infected throughout the Danish population may well be greater, says Henrik Ullum, who emphasizes that the figures are preliminary and must be read with caution.

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