When you think of COVID-19, most people think of a horrific and often fatal virus that causes pneumonia-like symptoms that leave the sufferer gasping for air and often needing mechanical ventilation to live. However, many with COVID-19 have no symptoms.
6. Asymptomatic vs. Presymptomatic
Groundbreaking research has shown that over half of all people with COVID-19 have no symptoms. However, even though they lack a visible infection they can still spread the virus. Many might not even know they are sick.
Currently, about 35 percent of COVID-19 transmission is thought to occur from presymptomatic individuals, which are people who are infected with the virus but have not started to develop symptoms yet. Research has shown that it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to develop in some people but even without active symptoms, they can still spread the virus.
As many as 24 percent of transmission of the coronavirus comes from asymptomatic individuals, which are people with no symptoms and who will never develop symptoms. However, they transmit the virus.
5. The Spread of COVID-19
Daniel Fagbuyi, an emergency room physician who served as a biodefense expert in the Obama administration, states the following: “Bottom line is that this SARS-CoV-2 virus has combined the best characteristics/traits of the coronavirus family and acquired the best ‘fit’ characteristics of a virus to go undetected and spread like wildfire.”
Clearly, identifying and quarantining only symptomatic people is not enough to control the transmission of the coronavirus. Other strict public measures must be put in place to slow the spread and save lives.
Mask wearing and physical distancing are the best way to stop the spread of the virus. In addition, widespread testing of individuals who may not be showing symptoms can also catch early cases before they have a chance to transmit the virus to other vulnerable individuals.