A recent study published in the journal JAMA Network Open has shown that the majority of the people responsible for spreading the coronavirus infection do not display symptoms. This applies to both asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic people and highlights the need for stricter preventive measures.
Currently, the policies regarding coronavirus control do already encourage people to take precautions even if they do not have signs of the infection or have not been exposed to the virus. However, most are still not taking the instructions seriously as there is more focus on symptomatic patients rather than asymptomatic.
Since the early days of the pandemic, there has been confusion about the main drivers of coronavirus spread with conflicting evidence. While initial research suggested symptomatic people transmit the virus more often, studies are reporting different results now.
The new research precisely accentuates that as many as fifty-nine percent of the cases can be traced back to asymptomatic infection. Thirty-five percent of these cases are of people who have not developed signs of the infection or are pre-symptomatic.
The rest of the twenty-four percent are people who are entirely asymptomatic, which means that they will never have the symptoms of coronavirus.
According to previous investigations, SARS-CoV-2 is able to incubate for a period of fourteen days. During this time, an infected person is then able to transmit the virus even though he or she may be aware due to having no signs.
By the time the symptoms do appear, the infected person has already spread the virus to others. This shows that visible signs are not compulsory in spreading the infection. Both asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic people can, therefore, transmit the virus.
This idea has been discussed multiple times before with varying conclusions. While some investigators and reports suggest that seventeen percent of the cases are linked to asymptomatic infections, others associate nearly eighty-one percent of the cases with people without visible symptoms of coronavirus.
Overall, the general behavior of an infected person also plays a role in determining the coronavirus spread. Most people who have visible signs of the virus are more likely to isolate and avoid meeting anyone or going to public spaces.
In comparison, those with no signs are typically not even aware of carrying the virus. As a result, there are higher chances of them transmitting the virus because of going out and meeting people out of a false sense of security.
So, what can be done? The possibility of coronavirus spread from an asymptomatic case is why experts have suggested people cut down the time spent outdoors and plan meetups only when it is absolutely necessary.
This especially applies to those who belong to at-risk groups, live in areas with a high number of cases, have had recent exposure to the infection, or have relatives who are at higher risk of severe coronavirus infection.
Also, do not forget to take all preventive measures suggested by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention at all times even after recovering from the infection or getting either one of the approved vaccines.