Press release: 12.377-217/20

More than half of the SARS-CoV-2 infections shortly before the second lockdown were unreported cases

Vienna, 2020-11-26 – Between 12 and 14 November 2020, approximately 166 000 up to 295 000 people in Austria (resident population aged 16 or older) were infected with SARS-CoV-2 (2.2% up to 4.0%; 95% confidence interval). 55% of the infected study participants were unreported cases. Those have not been registered by the authorities before, as they tested positive for the first time in this study. For most of them, the infection may have remained undetected as they showed no or few symptoms.

The estimated percentage of SARS-CoV-2 infected persons in the Austrian resident population aged 16 and older was 3.1% (228 000 infected) on average in mid-November. Compared to previous prevalence studies in April and May 2020, a significant increase of people infected with the coronavirus is observable shortly before the second lockdown. In mid-November, the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 was higher in the Western compared to Eastern Austria.

These are first interim results of the current nationwide COVID-19 prevalence study conducted by Statistics Austria on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and in cooperation with the Austrian Red Cross and the Medical University of Vienna.

For more detailed information please refer to the German version.