In order to understand more about respiratory infection, we have designed a multi-component system to provide enhanced information at multiple levels of increasing severity of health events related to respiratory infection including COVID-19.
We have developed a protocol and a survey to gather this information. This will enable us to evaluate the effectiveness of public health interventions as well as keep people safe and help the NHS. The protocol is an iterative document, so please ensure you have the latest version.
We have several programmes to help us gather this information.
The first to launch in April 2020 was the Community Surveillance Programme for COVID-19, which was an adaptation of our usual GP Influenza surveillance scheme. This gathered up to 1000 samples every week from across Scotland from people who had mild to moderate COVID-19 like symptoms.
For winter 2021 to 2022, we have now reintroduced the GP Sentinel surveillance scheme which includes all respiratory viruses as well as COVID-19.
We aim to gather 1000 samples per week from people who:
- attended a participating GP practices
- were triaged over the telephone by a participating GP
Further information is available in the Scottish Government CMO letter dated 25 October 2021 (external website).
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