Duke University and CoEHAR- together with Istituto Oasi Maria SS di Troina and the City Council- concluded the first part of the study to assess the prevalence of coronavirus infections in the city of Troina, a previous red zone due to the high rate of infections by COVID-19.
Researchers carried out serological assessments and administered questionnaires to determine the COVID-19 trends among the population and “Istituto Oasi di Troina” employees. An additional investigation estimates the impact of cigarettes smoking on the SARS-CoV-2. The survey- on a voluntary base- had 1312 citizens involved, distributed by sex and age and equal to about 14% of the total population. The “Istituto Oasi di Troina” had 474 employees participating in the study. The American Foundation (FSFW) provided all tests used during the research.
Results show that only 26 of the 1312 volunteers among the population was in contact with the virus (2% of the total). Among the employees of the ” Istituto Oasi di Troina” were 71 out of 474 (15%). This first stage of the research spanned from July to the end of September and was fundamental to identify people who had contact with the virus without showing symptoms. A new phase will further investigate whether immunity is acquired by having contact with the virus through a control group selected randomly by two different groups of volunteers: one for those tested positive and the other on a small number of negatives.
“The results that emerged – said Prof. Riccardo Polosa, founder of CoEHAR – are in line with the data arising from other European centres and will help to understand the best practices to manage future vaccination campaign against COVID-19″.
“Istituto Oasi di Troina” made a significant contribution to the management of the project by providing its staff, know-how, and managing all the steps that characterized the blood sample analysis process. The academic spin-off ECLAT, the local “Gruppo Volontari Protezione Civile”, the Italian Anti-Smoking League, and the team of the Krealab network of C.I.D.E.C have also played a fundamental role in the investigation. Looking forward to the start of the second phase, we trust in the maximum cooperation of citizens for strict compliance with the prevention rules indicated in the new decree.