Today, a new Public Health Scotland (PHS) data dashboard has been published showing seroprevalence of COVID-19 in Scotland.
These data aim to estimate the proportion of people who have antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 ("seroprevalence") in the general population and to see if there are changes over time. Most individuals who have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 will develop antibodies that last for several months; these data therefore include all individuals who have recently had COVID-19 infection, regardless of the presence or severity of symptoms.
The PHS seroprevalence surveillance programme has been in operation since the first wave of the pandemic, with over 30,000 residual blood samples analysed to date. The data show five week rolling estimates of seroprevalence at Scotland level, NHS Board level and by age-group and sex.
Dashboard updates will be published weekly from 13 January 2021.
Dr Jim McMenamin, Incident Director for COVID-19, Public Health Scotland said:
The data contained within the new dashboard provides an important overview of the Scottish population’s recent exposure to the virus. Antibody responses may last up to six months; therefore these data do not provide overall levels of exposure to the virus since the pandemic started. However, work is underway within Public Health Scotland to fully understand the total exposure to the virus within the general population of Scotland.
"Unsurprisingly the prevalence of infection has been increasing over recent weeks. This follows the increased reporting of laboratory confirmed cases across the country. The age, sex and geography of the prevalence data provides insight into the impact of any changing pattern of COVID-19 in our population."
Phil Couser, Director Data Driven Innovation at Public Health Scotland said:
"Good data and knowledge are vital to our understanding the impact of COVID-19 on the immediate and long term health of the people of Scotland. These serology data are one part of a range of PHS data used to make decisions on how we can manage the spread of the virus and, ultimately, affects all of us. This information significantly enhances the knowledge we have about the prevalence of the virus in communities across the country.
"We aim to share the best available knowledge, data and intelligence to protect and improve the health of the population of Scotland by making this data and information available to the public health community, and the public."