The residents of Brabant have much more antibodies against the coronavirus in their blood than other Dutch people. This is the conclusion of Sanquin blood bank’s analysis.
The blood bank tested more than 7,000 blood samples between 9 and 18 May. In the middle and east of Brabant and in Limburg, between 8 and 10 percent of the blood donors were found to have antibodies. Sanquin earlier reported that nationwide it is 5.4%.
Antibodies in the blood show whether someone has been infected with the coronavirus. The extent to which the substances are found in blood donors, gives an indication of the spread of the virus among the population. If people’ve already had the virus, their bodies can react better in the future against the virus. For the coronavirus, however, it is not certain that people are immune after an initial infection.
The fact that more people live with antibodies in Brabant and Limburg is in keeping with other figures on the coronavirus pandemic. In these two provinces, relatively most people also became infected. Also, most hospitalizations and deaths occurred in these regions.
435 infections per 100,000 inhabitants were detected in Limburg and 377 per 100,000 inhabitants in Brabant. These are the figures from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) since the virus outbreak, .
Per 100,000 inhabitants, 67 died in Limburg and 60 in Brabant. To make a comparison: in Groningen, the province with the fewest infections, had only 61 infections and 3 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. However, the RIVM assumes that the actual numbers are higher, because only limited testing took place for months.
Vaccine is the real solution
Hans Zaaijer is a researcher at Sanquin. He previously observed, on the basis of the national results of his research, that so-called group immunity is still a far way to go. ‘A vaccine really must be the solution’. Sanquin has now examined donor blood twice and is thinking to take a third measurement. But it’s not sure yet if that’s going to happen. “There’re no concrete agreements yet with the RIVM about this,’ says a spokeswoman for the blood bank.
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta, who gives ONLINE Inburgering classes.