Can coronavirus be spread by people with no symptoms?


Can a truly asymptomatic person
transmit this infection to others? How often does that occur and to what extent
is that driving the current epidemic? My name is Isaac Bogoch and I’m an
infectious diseases specialist. Based on a very high-profile study that
was recently conducted the report suggested that the virus was transmitted
from someone with no symptoms to other people. A person that traveled from China
to Germany for a meeting. This person reportedly felt well and then on her
return trip back to China, it was reported that she subsequently developed
some signs and symptoms suggestive of an infection and indeed this person did
test positive for the novel coronavirus. After that people that were close
contacts of the traveler from China, who were still in Germany developed some
signs and symptoms of infection in it it was found that they too were infected
with this coronavirus. After the report came out it seemed to be discovered that
people that were involved with the creation of this report actually never
spoke with the individual who came down with the infection directly. After some
deeper digging it turns out that the individual who flew in from China to
Germany indeed had symptoms and it was reported that she had some muscle aches
and pains and wasn’t feeling that well and was even taking some medications to
suppress her fevers. With social media in everybody’s palms you know there there
always as the potential for the circulation and of course the
amplification of misinformation and pseudoscience, so I think it’s a good
idea to pick a few reputable sources and stick with a few reputable sources. There
is certainly is a tremendous need for data and of course high quality data, and this
data can certainly help medical and scientific teams prepare to treat
patients and it also is helpful for guiding policy and screening programs,
treatment programs, prevention programs vaccinations, and treatment programs. So
the data is extremely important. I think we just need to be mindful that not all
data is created the same and of course there can be some uncertainty with data
if mistakes happen that’s completely okay we just have to be able to correct
them quickly. In general and we’re dealing with
respiratory infections it’s usually the case that people who have symptoms
people who are coughing for example are just more likely to transmit the
infection from one person to another. I also think we have to remember that
symptoms can be very broad, some people can have symptoms and be very very sick.
But we’re also hearing about people at the much more mild end of the spectrum
with symptoms that they don’t even need to seek medical care because their
symptoms are more of a nuisance rather than requiring hospitalization. One of
the concerns is it might be challenging to control an epidemic if people are
walking around with mild symptoms transmitting the infection because it’s
hard to find those individuals. It’s hard to identify them and isolate them or
prevent them from spreading the infection to others. With emerging data,
we’ll see what proportion of individuals fall into that category

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