Asymptomatic, presymptomatic patients ‘transmit most COVID-19 infections’


Silent transmission could account for more than half of the COVID-19 cases diagnosed globally, according to a study by researchers in the US and Canada.

In one research, published in the journal PNAS, medical experts leveraged on data obtained from cases of the virus that resulted from both asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmissions.

Someone who is asymptomatic has the infection but no symptoms and will not develop them later but a pre-symptomatic patient has the infection without symptoms but will develop them later.

According to the study, more than 50 percent of the infections recorded was attributed to people who didn’t exhibit any symptom.

Another study conducted in an Italian town and published in the journal Nature also found that about 40 percent of positive patients had no symptoms after the majority of residents were tested.

In the verdict, which they claimed could have real-world implications for leaders fighting the virus, the experts said mass testing, isolating infected people, and lockdowns limited COVID-19 spread.

According to the PNAS study, understanding how silent infections that are in the presymptomatic or asymptomatic phase contribute to transmission is fundamental to post-lockdown strategies.

“Even if all symptomatic cases are isolated, a vast outbreak may nonetheless unfold,” the reasearchers added.

More than 12 million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported globally with over 500,000 deaths according to Wordometres. At least 7 million have recovered so far.


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