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New guide to calculating the burden of disease of COVID-19

Thursday 05 Nov 20


Sara Monteiro Pires
Senior Researcher
National Food Institute
+45 40 21 34 89
The European Burden of Disease Network, which includes researchers from the Technical University of Denmark, DTU, has developed a protocol for calculating the disease burden of COVID-19.

When the world first became acquainted with COVID-19 less than a year ago, many thought it was 'just' a strain of the flu. However, this now does not seem to be the case.

To be able to assess exactly how COVID-19 compares with the seasonal flu or other infectious diseases for that matter, it is important to be able to calculate the burden of disease of the disease—and to do it in a unit of measurement that will allow data to be compared across diseases.

For this reason, European researchers, including from the National Food Institute at DTU, have prepared a protocol that countries can use to calculate the burden of disease of COVID-19 in their particular country. The calculations relate to how the disease affects patients' health in the short as well as and long term.

Researchers from the National Food Institute in collaboration with colleagues from Statens Serum Institute are now initiating a project in which they will calculate the burden of COVID-19 in Denmark.

The calculations will give decision-makers an insight into the public health significance of the disease relative to e.g. the flu. If researchers around the world generate estimates using the same method of calculation, it will be possible to assess where the disease has taken the greatest toll.

Read more

The protocol has been prepared under the auspices of the European Burden of Disease Network, of which the National Food Institute is a part. You can download it via Burden of disease of COVID-19. Protocol for country studies.

Go to the European Network's website to read more about their work related to improving methods for calculating the real burden of disease for various diseases:

On the National Food Institute's website, you can get an insight into the institute’s work within the area.