Germany’s Robert Koch Institut (RKI) published a study on Tuesday showed that most people infected with COVID-19 in the Bavarian town of Bad Feilnbach displayed cold symptoms.
The RKI said the study’s findings were a testament to the need for more research on coronavirus infections, as it disproved two assumptions the institute had.
One was that the number of unreported cases was very high and the other was that a significant number of infected people do not show symptoms.
The study was conducted from the end of June to the beginning of July and surveyed 2,153.
Some 85.5% of the residents who tested positive for coronavirus antibodies and who said they had been infected with the virus reported symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath, colds or coughing since February. Only 14.5% of respondents with antibodies reported no such symptoms at all.
In total, roughly 10% of the town’s residents were infected with COVID-19, with some 6% of the testing positive for antibodies.
Some 39.9 percent of adults who had tested positive for coronavirus in the past did not have a positive antibody test, but the RKI cautioned that this did not necessarily mean that they had no immunity.
Most infections among young adults
Bad Feilnbach, located south of Munich and near the border with Austria, was considered a coronavirus hotspot in the spring.
The RKI had assumed at the time that the number of unreported cases was five times higher than the number of cases reported. But that figure was lower than expected, at 2.6 times higher.
The age group with the most infections was 18- to 34-year-olds.
Bad Feilnbach is the second community targeted by RKI researchers in large-scale localized studies. The institute has also surveyed the town of Kupferzell in Baden-Württemberg and on September 8, it will resume testing in Straubing, Bavaria.
jcg/msh (Reuters, dpa)