Monday 20 September 2021

Almost half of blood bank donors found to have had Covid-19 were unaware


Almost half the people found to have had coronavirus following tests on their blood at the Sanquin blood bank were not aware they had been infected, a new report has shown.

The blood bank sent out questionnaires to plasma donors about their health and coronavirus in May and 3,676 people took part in the survey.

Sanquin labs identified coronavirus antibodies in the blood of 239 of these donors but 48% of them were not aware they had ever had the virus. One in 10 reported having no symptoms, while many others had dismissed their complaints as hay fever or a cold.

At the same time, just 20% of the people who told Sanquin they thought they had caught the virus were actually found to have antibodies in their blood.

The results of the survey, Sanquin said, shows that people are bad at deciding whether or not they have the virus and more should get a test, even if they only have mild symptoms.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.