National COVID-19 prevalence survey
A national survey on the prevalence of COVID-19 in the general population is currently being conducted in Slovenia.
It aims to answer the following important questions for the country:
- How many people in Slovenia are currently actively infected with SARS-CoV-2?
- How many people are asymptomatic and do not even know they are infected?
- How many people in Slovenia have come into contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and have already recovered from COVID-19?
The survey is being conducted on a random sample of 3,000 persons, representative in terms of age, gender and geographical distribution of the country. In the first stage a smear will be taken from the upper respiratory tract of the invited participants who consented to take part in the survey (to assess the prevalence of the currently active COVID-19 infections) and a blood sample for serological testing on SARS-CoV-2 (to assess herd immunity from COVID-19). Survey participants will also complete a questionnaire on any symptoms and signs of respiratory infection, and on the number and characteristics of contacts within and outside their household.
In the second stage, which will take place six months after the start of the survey, participants will be invited to give a second blood sample for anti-SARS-CoV-2 serology testing. The test results will allow a final assessment of herd immunity, i.e. of the number of people in Slovenia who came into contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the first wave of the epidemic.
The study is being conducted by the Institute of Microbiology and Immunology of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ljubljana. The survey is headed by Prof. Dr Mario Poljak. The survey is sponsored by the Ministry of Health and the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. The ethics of the survey have been verified and approved by the National Medical Ethics Committee at the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia.
Slovenia is well on its way to managing the epidemic and is moving toward the gradual easing of restrictive measures.