Infection fatality rate (IFR) during the course of COVID-19 pandemic in Upper Silesia Metropolitan Area (Poland) in 2020
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Śląski Uniwersytet Medyczny / Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland (Wydział Nauk Medycznych, Katedra i Zakład Epidemiologii / Faculty of Medical Sciences, Department of Epidemiology)
Online publication date: 2021-11-09
Corresponding author
Małgorzata Kowalska   

Śląski Uniwersytet Medyczny, Wydział Nauk Medycznych, Katedra i Zakład Epidemiologii, ul. Medyków 18, 40-752 Katowice, Polska
Med Pr Work Health Saf. 2021;72(6):671-6
Background: During the course of COVID-19 pandemic, a wide range of scientific projects was implemented worldwide, including studies focusing on infection fatality rate (IFR). The value of IFR depends on the number of COVID-19 deaths in a population in a given period and the number of infected people in this population, usually provided by seropepidemiological studies (anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG in the case of COVID-19). The objective of our study was to estimate IFR in the course of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, in the general population of Upper Silesia Metropolitan Area (USMA). Material and Methods: The seroepidemiological study was conducted in October–November 2020. Among randomly selected inhabitants of Katowice, Gliwice, and Sosnowiec (N = 1167), the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection was assessed based on a positive IgG test result performed with the ELISA method. Data on deaths due to COVID-19 were obtained from the Registry Offices of each city. The infection fatality rate was calculated using the formula IFR (%) = [number of deaths/number of infected] × 100. Results: Results of our study showed the prevalence of infection at 11.4% (95% CI: 9.5–13.2). In three examined towns, in the period January–November 2020, there was a total of 516 COVID-19 deaths. The resulting crude IFR was 0.65% (95% CI: 0.56–0.78). The IgG test had 88% sensitivity and 99% specificity and these figures were used to adjust IFR. The adjusted IFR value was similar to the crude value: IFR = 0.62% (95% CI: 0.53–0.74). Conclusions: The value of IFR estimated for the USMA population was similar to average values obtained in other countries and can be used as the background for monitoring the course and impact of COVID-19 pandemic in the Upper Silesian Industrial Area. Med Pr. 2021;72(6):671–6
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