Source: The Hindu
Relevance: This article explains the advantages and disadvantages associated with Sero surveys
Though Sero Surveys are useful in detecting the prevalence of antibodies, frequent surveys are expensive and futile
A sero surveillance ascertains the prevalence of past infectious disease in a population; In Covid cases, it helps to detect whether anti-bodies to SARS-CoV2 are present in a population or not.
The antibodies are like evidence in a crime scene, and the virus is like a criminal.
|Read more: Explained: ICMR’s fourth serosurvey and its findings|
Benefits of sero surveys:
- For public health authorities, sero surveys provide a variety of use at different phases of the pandemic for policy formulation, effective control of pandemic, etc.
- Independent sero surveillance data can expose the level of data suppression. So, the media and epidemiologists use them to show the under-reporting of cases and deaths due to Covid-19.
- Sero surveys can ascertain the details about community transmission. For instance, they can explain whether community transmission has taken place or not.
- Sero surveys can explain how far or close the community to attain to herd immunity.
Drawbacks of the Sero survey:
- Sero surveillance is expansive (costs around ₹25lakh for a city of 5000 people) and not a good investment for a country still grappling with the pandemic.
- Frequent surveys can result in poor use of staff time, technology and stuff. Further, it will also divert the government attention from core activities (screening and testing).
- Those surveys are no more useful than our COVID-19-appropriate behaviour and vaccinations to control the pandemic.