All you need to know about coronavirus

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Check if you have had COVID-19 and help scientists understand the virus

Beginning this week you can get a free coronavirus test in Poznań and at the same time make your contribution to an important study. The PAS Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry wants to determine how many people in Poland tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms, and what genetic factors affect the course of the disease.

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How many Poles have contracted the coronavirus?

Every day, we are bombarded with the latest updates on COVID-19 and rising numbers of new cases from Poland and around the world. Experts emphasize that the confirmed cases are just “the tip of the iceberg”, as many people remain undiagnosed. This is because, some people go through COVID-19 without symptoms at any time. Therefore, questions arise about the actual incidence rate, as well as what genetic factors influence the severity of disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

What does COVID-19 testing look like?

Scientists encourage volunteers to take a short online survey for a start. Then, randomly selected people will be asked to provide samples – 10 ml of blood and an oral swab.

"Up to three days after the sample collection, we will be able to provide information whether the participant has come into contact with a suspected carrier of COVID-19" – says Dr. Paweł Zmora from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The researchers allowed 10 weeks to collect samples and surveys.

“In total, we would like to test approximately 1,500 volunteers for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Then, based on the results of serological tests and the results of the questionnaires, we will select samples for further genetic testing” – add Dr. Zmora.

What’s next?

Researchers will estimate what percentage of people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic. In addition, they will conduct further analysis on selected samples. The goal is to identify genetic susceptibility to viral respiratory diseases. As more people are tested, researcher will better understand the full picture of the novel disease, its extent and explore treatment options.

Information for volunteers

If you want to take part in the study, please complete a short survey (in Polish). The samples will be collected by experienced medical personnel in Poznań. Participation is voluntary and free of charge. Only adults can take part in the project.

Source of information and photos: PAS Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry