The Karnataka state COVID-19 serosurvey

Team Lead: Giridhara R. Babu (Indian Institute of Public Health, Bangalore), IISc contact: Rajesh Sundaresan

COVID-19 has spread across the country with more than 73 lakhs affected and 112161 deaths, as on 16 October 2020. The state of Karnataka had more than 112427 active cases and 10356 deaths, as on 16 October 2020. Currently, only case-based reporting exists and continues as the extensively recommended strategy through all the phases of the epidemic. The case-based reporting helps in testing and isolating cases, and tracing and quarantining contacts, but has limited use for other public health responses. Management and preventive measures for any disease, however, require quantifying the total disease burden in the state. Through the currently available data based on case-based reporting and their follow-up, the exact burden of disease cannot be understood. This is especially important since the demand and capacity for detecting and testing cases vary across the districts of Karnataka. The available data from case-based reporting is not comparable across areas or over time. Therefore, the state requires public health measures to quantify the existing burden of disease through epidemiological investigation aided through repeated cross-sectional sentinel surveys. Sentinel surveillance provides high-quality data which can be compared across districts. By conducting repeated rounds of serial cross-sectional surveys throughout the state, we can follow evidence-based interventions which are consistent and correspond to the contextual nature of the burden in each district. As an extensive cross-sectional survey in India, this study was done to estimate the prevalence (acute and past infection) of COVID-19 among adults in the general population of Karnataka state.

Current Status:
Round 1 of the survey has been conducted and a report has been submitted.

Giridhara R. Babu, et al., The burden of active infection and anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in the general population: Results from a statewide survey in Karnataka, India

Organizations involved:
1.    Department of Health Family Welfare Services, Government of Karnataka.
2.    Indian Institute of Public Health, Public Health Foundation of India, Bengaluru
3.    Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru
4.    Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore Centre, Bengaluru.
5.    Department of Community Medicine, BMCRI, Bengaluru.
6.    Department of Community Medicine, MS Ramaiah Medical College, Bengaluru.
7.    National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru.
8.    State consultant, PPTCT and Maternal Health, UNICEF.

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