The test will be performed on a sample of 150 thousand people resident in 2 thousand Municipalities, distributed by sex, activity and six age classes. The results of the survey, disseminated anonymously and in aggregate form, can also be used for other scientific studies and for comparative analysis with other European countries. To obtain reliable and useful results it is essential that the people selected for the sample adhere. Participating is not mandatory, but knowing the epidemiological situation in our country serves each of us.
Go to the project: Istat official page
The selected people will be contacted by telephone from the regional centers of the Italian Red Cross to fix, in one of the selected laboratories, a appointment for blood sampling. The withdrawal can also be performed at home if the subject is fragile or vulnerable. Upon contact, you will also be asked to respond to a specific one survey prepared by Istat, in agreement with the Technical Scientific Committee.
There Veneto region will communicate the outcome of the examination to each participant residing in the territory. In case of a positive diagnosis, the interested party will be placed in temporary home isolation and contacted by their regional health service or Asl to make a nasopharyngeal swab that checks for any state of contagiousness. The confidentiality of the participants will be maintained for the duration of the survey.
All participants will be awarded a identification number anonymous for the acquisition of the test result. The link of this identification number with individuals will be managed by the investigation team and will be disclosed only to authorized bodies.
On all Rai networks, one will be broadcast spot dedicated to the investigation e posters will be posted in pharmacies and parapharmacies, thanks to the collaboration offered by Federfarma and the Federation of the Order of Italian Pharmacists (FOFI).
Here are the Veneto Municipalities that will be interested in the tests
The communication campaign has the following objectives:
- inform the Italian population of the investigation, underlining its importance and usefulness both for the selected person, who learns if he came into contact with the virus and developed the antibodies, and for the community, as the results will show a deeper knowledge of the evolution of the epidemic and will help modulate the measures of containment from the infection
- explain the organizational and operational methods of the investigation
- to promote the adhesion to the serological survey of all citizens belonging to the representative sample, communicating, in addition to the social and epidemiological utility, also the ease with which the sampling can be carried out, free of charge and completely safe also in terms of confidentiality
- enhance and frame the initiative within the institutions’ action plan to combat the virus.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. How is the sample selected?
The samples of any statistical survey are defined to be representative of the entire reference population. The elementary units, or individuals, are selected to meet the sample’s need for representativeness.
In the case of the investigation on the serum-prevalence of SARS-COV2 virus infection, the sample foresees the observation of 150,000 individuals on the whole Italian territory and has already been statistically defined by Istat, taking into consideration gender, age, sectors of economic activity, region of residence of the selected individuals.
2. Can I apply as a volunteer to be part of the sample?
It is not possible to voluntarily apply to be part of the sample because this has already been designed and defined by Istat.
3. If I return to the sample, how and by whom am I contacted?
The selected citizens will be contacted by telephone by CRI operators. They will be given a short questionnaire and an appointment for serological tests will be arranged, which will be carried out at sampling points identified by Regions and Autonomous Provinces or at CRI sampling points.
4. How do you recognize the Red Cross volunteer?
The calls come from the Red Cross number whose first digits are 06.5510. Calls can be made to both cell phones and landlines. During the call, the Red Cross volunteer will also send a specific questionnaire prepared by Istat to the selected person, in agreement with the Technical Scientific Committee.
5. How long does it take to answer the questionnaire?
The questionnaire is very short, to answer all the questions will take about ten minutes.
6. Does the investigation include an obligation to reply?
The survey does not provide for an obligation to respond by those who are selected, but represents an opportunity for themselves, since it allows you to find out if the antibodies have developed, and a service for the country.
7. How is my privacy protected if I return to the selected sample?
The survey results can only be disclosed in aggregate form and in such a way that it is not possible to identify the person to whom the information refers. They will be available to the competent bodies in order to prepare an adequate containment and contrast planning for the epidemic. The telephone numbers of the selected citizens are acquired by the main mobile telephone providers in compliance with the provisions of the Guarantor for the protection of personal data.
8. What is the serological investigation?
Through the serological test (which consists of a blood sample) it is possible to identify any antibodies directed against the Sars-CoV-2 virus, even in asymptomatic subjects or with mild symptoms. Serological tests are therefore an important tool for estimating the spread of infection in a community and for addressing containment and contrast policies for the epidemic.
9. What is the difference between serological and swab tests?
The nasopharyngeal swab is an examination that is used to search for the virus and then to diagnose the infection in progress. The serological test instead allows to identify the presence of antibodies produced by our immune system in response to the virus and is not definitive for the diagnosis of an ongoing infection, as the absence of antibodies does not exclude the possibility of an early stage infection , with relative risk that an individual, despite being negative in the serological test, is contagious.
10. Is the serological test free?
Yes, the serological test is carried out by the National Health Service. The person selected by Istat for the serological investigation does not have the obligation to join, but those who undergo the test will find out if they have developed antibodies to the virus and will help to make the epidemiological situation of the whole country known.
11. How is the test result communicated?
The result will be communicated to each participant from the Region they belong to within 15 days of the test. All participants are assigned an anonymous identification number for the acquisition of the result. The link of this identification number with individuals will be managed by the investigation team and will be disclosed only to authorized bodies.
12 What happens if the test is positive?
In the event of a positive test, the interested party will be placed in temporary home isolation by his regional health service and contacted to make a nose-pharyngeal swab that checks for any state of contagiousness. The confidentiality of the participants will be maintained for the duration of the investigation.
13. Which Italian municipalities are part of the sample?
The Municipalities that are part of the sample are 2015. The complete list of these is available on the page dedicated to the survey.
For information call the toll-free number 1500 of the Ministry of Health.