Coronavirus is a group and family of viruses that occur in the form of a disease, and it usually affects humans. It has been named a novel coronavirus because it is a unique kind of disease that has not been identified in humans before. Its symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and more. It becomes dangerous because it can be transferred from one to another when they make contact.
WHO named it COVID-19 because it was discovered in 2019 in Wuhan city of China whereas CO means Corona; VI means virus and the last letter D means Disease.
COVID-19 can be deadly for some people. Older adults and people with existing health conditions are more at risk of serious complications, which can be life-threatening. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 80% of people who develop the disease have mild to moderate symptoms and fully recover without needing treatment in a hospital.
Asymptomatic patients can spread coronavirus
Let’s talk about the people who do not have symptoms of coronavirus but can spread it. Compared to most other viral infections, SARS-CoV-2 produces an unusually high level of viral particles in the upper respiratory tract specifically the nose and mouth. When those viral particles escape into the environment that is called viral shedding.
Pre-symptomatic people shed the virus at an extremely high rate, similar to the seasonal flu. But people with the flu don’t normally shed virus until they have symptoms.
Public health experts don’t know exactly how much spread is caused by asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic patients. But there are some telling hints that it is a major driver of this pandemic.
An early modeling estimate suggested that 80% of infections could be attributed to spread from undocumented cases. Presumably, the undocumented patients were asymptomatic or had only extremely mild symptoms. Though interesting, the researchers made a lot of assumptions in that model so it is hard to judge the accuracy of that prediction.
A study looking at outbreaks in Ningbo, China, found that people without symptoms spread the virus as easily as those with symptoms. If half of all infected people are without symptoms at any point in time, and those people can transmit SARS-CoV-2 as easily as symptomatic patients, it is safe to assume a huge percentage of the spread comes from people without symptoms.
Even without knowing the exact numbers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe that transmission from people without symptoms is a major contributor to the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 around the world.
Thus it concludes that screening for symptoms of COVID-19 and self-quarantine are good at preventing sick people from spreading the coronavirus. But more and more evidence is suggesting that people without symptoms are spreading the virus too. At this point, no one knows exactly how many cases of COVID-19 are from the asymptomatic spread. But I and many other infectious diseases researchers are convinced that it is playing a major role in this pandemic. Wearing a mask and practicing social distancing can prevent the asymptomatic spread and help reduce the harm from this dangerous virus until we get a vaccine.
The World Medical Card-blog consists of content written by both in-house and independent doctors, hired to write specific content for World Medical Card. It is advised to do your own research and always contact a doctor directly if you are having symptoms.