First wave of COVID-19 did not reach the homeless population in Aarhus

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INTRODUCTION: The deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has rapidly become a pandemic affecting the whole world. Lower health literacy and higher mortality rates in the homeless and vulnerable population compared with the background population potentially leaves this group or people more exposed to COVID-19. This study assessed the vulnerable population of Aarhus in relation to COVID-19 infection.

METHODS: Participants were tested during a six-day period in April and a four-day period in June at drop-in centres, injection rooms and homeless shelters in Aarhus. Oropharyngeal swab tests were performed and analysed with real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Test days in June were supplemented with lateral flow tests for immunoglobulin (Ig) G and IgM. Prevalence and corresponding Wilson 95% confidence intervals were computed.

RESULTS: We tested 295 individuals in April and 141 individuals in June. All oropharyngeal swabs were COVID-19 negative. The lateral flow tests were IgM-positive in six of 129 individuals (4.7%) and IgG-positive less than five of 129 (less than 3.9%) individuals. On the day of testing, COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, coughing and/or sore throat were found in 63 of 240 (26.3%) of the participants in April and in 26 of 123 (21.1%) in June. In the April testing round, 175 of 291 (59.9%) reported to be born in Denmark. The corresponding number for the June testing round was 84 of 138 (60.9%).

CONCLUSIONS: Despite their vulnerable profile, the vulnerable citizens tested in Aarhus were not infected with COVID-19 at the testing day and very few participants carried antibodies.

FUNDING: Testing was funded by Aarhus University Hospital.


TidsskriftDanish Medical Journal
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2020

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Articles published in the DMJ are “open access”. This means that the articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits any non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

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