COVID-19 virus may silently damage the bodies of asymptomatic patients
Asymptomatic patients can transmit the virus for longer than 14 days, warn researchers highlighting the need for expansive testing and contact tracing of infected individuals to mitigate the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading like a wildfire in India, despite the lockdown and other containment measures in force in the country. What it is so? One possible reason is that many people infected by the novel coronavirus never show symptoms of the disease. And these asymptomatic people likely play a significant role in the spread of the COVID-19 disease, say researchers. Also Read – 10,000 COVID-19 positive cases cured in 24 hrs: Government issues tips to fight corona stigma
According to a study, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, asymptomatic people may account for approximately 40 to 45 per cent of SARS-CoV-2 infections. The researchers cautioned that even though asymptomatic patients show no symptoms of the disease, the virus may be silently damaging their bodies. They cited that CT scans of asymptomatic individuals on the Diamond Princess cruise ship showed significant lung abnormalities. This, according to the scientists, indicate the possibility of the virus silently impacting lung function. To their surprise, the scientists also found that asymptomatic individuals can transmit the virus for longer than 14 days. Also Read – Details of COVID-19 hospitals will be available online soon: Nodal officer appointed for the job
For the study, scientists from the Scripps Research Translational Institute in the US, analysed public datasets on asymptomatic infections of the novel coronavirus. These included data on nursing home residents, cruise ship passengers, prison inmates and various other groups.
Best Ways To Mitigate The Pandemic
It is the silent spread of the virus that makes it more challenging to control the pandemic, noted the researchers. The scientists suggested that longitudinal testing, that is repeated testing of individuals over time, would help differentiate between asymptomatic and presymptomatic individuals.
In order to mitigate the pandemic, the scientists stressed the need for expansive testing and contact tracing of infected individuals. They also advise people to always wear a mask in public places to protect themselves and others from the deadly virus.aymptomatic
Who Are More Likely To Be In Asymptomatic Group?
Younger and healthier people, including children, are most likely to have asymptomatic or mild COVID-19 infections. However, there are reports of young healthy people becoming very unwell and even succumbing to the disease. The percentage appears to be very low though. On the other moderate, severe and critical infections
People who are over 60 years, and those who are suffering from heart disease, lung disease, cancer and immune deficiency have a greater chance of moving further down the list into moderate, severe and critical infections.
Asymptomatic means that you’re carrying the virus but have no symptoms. Antibody testing is considered to be the best method to identify people who have had coronavirus unknowingly, without symptoms. Currently, the test is being evaluated for accuracy in many countries.
The novel coronavirus affects mainly the upper respiratory tract, primarily the large airways. Therefore, patients with mild illness usually develop flu-like symptoms including dry cough and mild fever. One may also experience loss of sense of smell, tiredness, muscles aches or a headache, sore throat or runny nose. The symptoms typically last for about 7-10 days. As per estimates, about 81% of symptomatic COVID-19 cases are mild. However, some patients with mild disease can deteriorate, more likely among high-risk groups.
Most people with mild or asymptomatic infections do not need to seek medical attention and they can treat their symptoms at home. However, those who belong to the vulnerable groups should seek advice. Also, anybody who have symptoms that are worsening should seek medical advice