A seroprevalence study in Chattogram has shown the presence of anti-coronavirus antibodies in 65% of Covid-19 patients in Chattogram.
The study enrolled both those who tested positive for the virus, and those who tested negative but were treated as Covid patients based on symptoms, and observed them over a 6-month period.
The antibodies were found in about 90 percent of those who tested positive for the virus in an RT-PCR test, and 26% of RT-PCR negative patients.
Physicians at Chittagong General Hospital conducted the research on 1530 people (989 who tested positive, and 541 who tested negative)from October 2020 to April 2021 to investigate the presence and persistence of antibodies produced by the body as an immune response to Covid-19.
The objectives of the study apart from finding the presence of antibodies were to gather information on the socio-economic status of the patients, what symptoms were present in them at the time of infection and whether there were any long-term complications after recovering from Covid.
Although participants of the research were selected on random basis, majority of them were male (75%) and employed (60%).
Their main symptoms after contracting Covid-19 were fever (92 percent), cough (63 percent), and loss of sense of smell (52 percent). Symptoms such as sore throat, headache, diarrhoea, shortness of breath, etc. have also been observed.
Many of the affected people were already suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes (15 percent), high blood pressure (23 percent), respiratory complications (9 percent) and heart disease. After recovering from Covid, about 57 percent of them had long-term symptoms including physical weakness, pain, anxiety, fatigue, cough, hair loss, etc.
Dr. Md. Abdur Rob, the head of the research team, said, “We have been treating Covid patients for a long time. This study is very timely in order to know more about Covid-19 in more detail about patients' symptoms, long-term complications after recovery and the presence of antibodies."
Dr. Mohammad Asif Khan, Coordinator of the research work, said that there is no alternative to such research to improve the medical science in the reality of our country as directed by the Hon'ble Prime Minister.
"This is the first example of a district-level hospital conducting research on its own initiative. We hope that this initiative will encourage self-managed research in the medical field," he said.
In light of the data collected, Dr. HM Hamidullah Mehdi said that one of the successes of this study is that a large number of infected patients have been included in it and the data has been collected through direct interviews and tests. The results of the study will make the government's ongoing COVID-19 vaccination program more acceptable and dynamic.
Dr. MA Kabir Chowdhury, who is in charge of data and data analysis, said that while analyzing the data collected in the study, they have found some important information, such as the presence of antibodies in the body of RT-PCR positive patients for more than 6 months.
The findings were presented today at the conference room of the Chattogram General Hospital.
Barrister Mahibul Hasan Chowdhury Nawfel, Deputy Minister for Education and Chairman of the Management Committee of the 250-bed Chattogram General Hospital was the chief guest on the occasion.
He said the 250-bed Anderkilla General Hospital in Chittagong was the first and only place of recourse for Covid-19 patients in Chittagong after the corona virus entered the country. Initially, the hospital was in dire need of medical equipment for the treatment of patients suffering from covid, but now it is fully capable.