In a comprehensive study, the Medical University of Innsbruck examined how many residents of the Austrian ski resort of Ischgl have developed antibodies to the coronavirus. Their result: 42.4 percent of the people examined had antibodies.
According to the director of the Institute of Virology, Dorothee von Laer, this is the highest value published worldwide. Around 80 percent of the Ischgl population participated in the study.
Antibodies in the blood are considered to be evidence of a recent infection.
Ischgl with its après-ski bars is the focal point for the spread of the corona virus in Europe. According to Austrian authorities, Ischgl was at times responsible for 40 percent of all domestic cases. They also believe that many German tourists have been infected in Ischgl. A commission in the state of Tyrol is investigating the highly criticized crisis management there. In addition, since March, a caterer who had not reported an employee's infection has been investigated.
It is striking that only 15 percent of those who tested positive for antibodies had previously been diagnosed with infection, said von Laer. "85 percent of those who went through the infection went through it unnoticed."
Despite the high antibody level, herd immunity was also not achieved in Ischgl. Quarantine and social distance were decisive for the decline in cases, it said.