Bonn’s top virologist Hedrick Streeck defends itself against criticism

Bonn's top virologist Hedrick Streeck defends itself against criticism

© picture alliance / dpa
The Bonn virologist Professor Hendrik Streeck is leading the important corona study in the Heinsberg district.

Bonn’s top virologist Hendrik Streeck (42) has rejected criticism of the publication of an interim result on a study in the Gangelt community in North Rhine-Westphalia, which is particularly affected by the coronavirus.

Bonn’s top virologist Hendrick Streeck resists criticism

The scientist from the University of Bonn told the “Tagesspiegel” from Berlin on Sunday that the field study complied with all recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). “We even exceed these recommendations,” said Streeck of the study, which examines 1,000 people from 400 households.

Streeck also rejected criticism that the interim result had been published too early. “The publication was by no means easy. We discussed into the night of Thursday whether we should now present the first data. We decided to do this for ethical reasons and because we felt obliged to report a valid interim status based on scientific criteria before publication. ”This is absolutely normal.

Streeck: “Interim results enable scientific discussion”

“Interim results are constantly communicated at congresses all over the world. Only this enables a current scientific discussion. “To claim that this is unscientific is simply not true, the researcher complained.

Read more here: Delays due to Corona – Bonn’s Victoria Bridge will be closed before the summer holidays

According to the interim results of the study, presented last Thursday (April 9), 15 percent of citizens in the Gangelt community have now developed immunity to the virus. The probability of dying from the disease is 0.37 percent based on the total number of infected people. The corresponding rate currently calculated by the American Johns Hopkins University in Germany is five times higher at 1.98 percent.

Bonn virologist Streeck is one of the most sought-after experts

Streeck has been one of the most sought-after experts in the corona crisis for weeks. In numerous television appearances, the head of virology at the Bonn University Hospital kept giving current assessments of the situation around COVID-19.

He also plays an important role in research related to the corona virus. In the Heinsberg district, the first epicenter of the corona pandemic in Germany, he and his team of around 70 conduct the largest study on the spread of the virus to date (read more here).

However, the research work in Heinsberg is also associated with a lot of pressure, as Streeck said on Tuesday (April 7). The results of the study are closely monitored and could have a decisive influence on the future use of the coronavirus in Germany.

Coronavirus: Bonn virologist Hendrik Streeck leads the “Harakiri campaign” in Heinsberg

“We try to work quickly, but at the same time have the greatest scientific care. And I feel that as pressure, ”said Streeck of dpa. Politicians want to react to new findings as quickly as possible with decisions, and the responsibility of the study is correspondingly great.

In the small town of Gangelt (13,000 inhabitants), around 1,000 test subjects from a total of 500 families are examined, and the improvised study center was set up in a school. Streeck had previously described the work on site as a “Harakiri campaign”.

Even if short-term results are particularly in demand, Streeck is also planning long-term monitoring of the coronavirus in Heinsberg: “We will probably also try to do a post-test, for example, every few weeks in Gangelt.”

Coronavirus: Bonn virologist Hendrik Streeck provides information on Heinsberg in the Facebook livestream

On the Facebook page “Heinsbergprotokoll” the creators of the study keep up to date with current developments. A livestream planned for Tuesday, in which Streeck was asked to comment on the first findings and answer audience questions, was postponed due to the tight schedule.


© dpa

The results are eagerly awaited, they could have a decisive influence on the future use of the corona virus throughout Germany. District Administrator Stephan Pusch ennobled the study in his district as “worthy of a Nobel Prize”, NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet immediately agreed to finance the study.

The study goes beyond examining people through a throat swab and blood test. Areas and objects such as door handles or remote controls are also checked for traces of the corona virus, and samples were also taken from the wastewater. (bc / dpa)


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