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COVID-19:What Is Asymptomatic Transmission? This Is How You Could Be Spreading It!

Many countries are under lockdown to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the governments are urging the citizens to stay indoors and maintain social distancing.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued guidelines for good personal hygiene and to stay at home when symptomatic (at least one new or worsened typical or atypical symptom of COVID-19).

However, more and more reports are emerging that show people who are tested positive and are asymptomatic (no symptoms or only stable chronic symptoms). According to a CDC report, testing symptomatic symptoms is done based on the nature of detection and monitoring the patient, and detecting asymptomatic illness is difficult because many people do not show any signs or symptoms [1].

What Is Asymptomatic Transmission?

According to the WHO, asymptomatic transmission refers to the transmission of the virus from an infected person who does not develop symptoms to another person.

The viral shedding can happen in the absence of symptoms and before the symptoms start. Around 25 per cent of individuals who are infected with COVID-19 remain asymptomatic.

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What Do The Studies Say?

According to a study published in the journal The Lancet, a 33-year-old-woman and a 3-year-old boy were among the COVID-19 infected family members who were both asymptomatic. They did not show any signs or clinical symptoms with no decrease in white blood cell or lymphocyte counts [2].

Another study showed a similar result. A study was conducted in long-term care skilled nursing facility (SNF), 76 of 82 residents of an SNF were tested for SARS-CoV-2. Among 23 (30 per cent) residents who were tested positive, 10 (43 per cent) residents had symptoms on the day of testing and 13 (57 per cent) of them were asymptomatic. Seven days after the testing, 10 of these 13 previously asymptomatic residents had developed symptoms and were recategorised as presymptomatic [3].

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To Conclude...

Asymptomatic people might not be aware of their disease and therefore will not isolate themselves or seek treatment, or they might be overlooked by health-care professionals, thus unknowingly transmitting the virus to others.

To prevent and control this highly infectious disease, family members staying with COVID-19 infected members should be closely monitored and examined to rule out infection, even if they do not show any symptoms.

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