Frau mit Maske und Handschuhe im Labor

Corona Immunitas – strong together

To play a part in overcoming the corona pandemic, CSS provided CHF 2 million in support to the research programme run by the Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+). The money went towards implementing 40 individual studies that yielded important findings on the spread of the coronavirus.

Research programme generates interesting study results

In spring 2020, CSS decided to provide this key project with CHF 2 million in financial support. By doing so, it made a significant contribution to the total budget of 'Corona Immunitas'.

The individual studies yielded im­por­tant findings on the spread of the coronavirus. We take a look here at 3 examples of the 40 studies carried out in total:

Seroprevalence in Spitex and nursing home staff, and immune response

This study examined, among other things, whether the rate of co­ro­na­virus infections was higher among people in particularly exposed occupations than among the general population over the same period of time. Spitex employees showed an only slightly higher antibody value (3.8%). Among retirement and nursing home staff, however, it averaged 14.9%. At the time of diagnosis, 90% of par­ti­ci­pan­ts experienced symptoms (16% slight, 40% moderate, 30% severe and 13% very severe symptoms). One-fifth of participants were hospitalised within two weeks of the start of the infection. The authors assume that up to one-quarter of those infected (i.e. several hundred thousand people) will be left with mild to severe long-term effects. The results indicate that a broad range of care services and in­te­gra­tive approaches will be required to help these people on their way to recovery.

Immunity of Swiss population (as at December 2020/January 2021)

One of the studies shows that the prevalence of the virus varies widely throughout Switzerland. The percentage of the population with coronavirus antibodies in their blood ranges from as little as 8% (Zurich) to 25% (Vaud), as is shown by the figures for nine cantons. By January 2021, the proportion of people with antibodies in their blood had doubled, or in some cases trebled, since the first measurements were taken the previous autumn: an indication that the second wave hit harder. However, the elderly were better protected: in the cantons of Geneva and Ticino, for example, only half as many as before had antibodies in their blood.

Transmissibility between children and teachers

One example from this research programme is a study by the University of Zurich investigating how the coronavirus spreads among children and teachers in schools. Learn more from the following video plus two shows originally broadcast on Swiss TV:

Corona Virus – two students explain how the test works (video of the SSPH+).