Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and knowledge, attitude and practice toward COVID-19 in the Republic of Srpska-Bosnia & Herzegovina: A population-based study

The aim of the study was to assess the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to analyse the knowledge, attitudes and practices of the population toward COVID-19. This population-based study was conducted in a group of 1,855 randomly selected individuals from all municipalities from 1 December 2020 to 15 January 2021. All individuals were asked to sign a consent form and to fill in a questionnaire, following which a blood samples were collected. Total anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were determined in serum specimens using the total Ab ELISA assay. The overall seroprevalence rate was 40.3%. Subjects aged <65 years were 2.06 times more likely to be seropositive than those aged �65, and 30% of seropositive individuals presented no COVID-19 symptoms. The household members of seropositive individuals were 2.24 times more likely to develop COVID-19 symptoms than the household members of seronegative individuals. More than 95% of respondents believe that preventive measures are very important to control the infection transmission. Majority of respondents wear the masks properly, maintain the required physical distance whenever possible and wash hands with soap. Nearly 50% of individuals were of the opinion that the vaccine could prevent the infection. This study showed that an overall SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity rate by the middle of January 2021 was very high. Attitudes and practices regarding the COVID-19 indicate that additional efforts should be taken in order to improve the health education with a focus on preventive measures and vaccination.
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