Can asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus pose a threat to healthy population

Author : Huánqiú Shíbào

Source :

Official Internet portal of Wuhan publishes the findings on asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus infection
22:15, 2 April 2020

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According to a report published on the official Internet portal of Wuhan, the Health Committee of the city organized a consultative meeting of provincial and municipal experts in order to answer questions that concern residents the most - about asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus infection.

1. Who are asymptomatic carriers of the virus?

According to the “Plan for the Prevention and Control of a New Coronavirus Infection (Sixth Edition),” asymptomatic carriers are people who do not show symptoms of the disease (such as fever, cough, sore throat, etc.), with pathogens or type-specific IgM antibodies to Covid-19 detected in samples and respiratory tracts.

2. How are asymptomatic carriers detected?

Asymptomatic carriers are detected mainly through screening of people who were in close contact with those sick, massive epidemiological studies and monitoring the sources of infection.

3. Can asymptomatic carriers transmit the virus?

Asymptomatic carriers can also be sources of infection, and there is a certain risk of transmission of the virus. However, the World Health Organization states that "based on available data, a new type of coronavirus is transmitted mainly by people with symptoms of the disease." Thus, asymptomatic carriers are not the main source of infection.

4. Why asymptomatic virus carriers are not included into the list of confirmed cases?

According to the "Plan for the diagnostics and treatment of new coronavirus infection (trial seventh edition)", the alleged and confirmed cases of the disease must show clinical implications. Asymptomatic carriers without clinical implications of the disease should be isolated for 14 days and further studies should be carried out. If such an asymptomatic carrier manifests symptoms of the disease during the isolation period, then it will be considered a confirmed case of the disease.

5. Can asymptomatic carriers show symptoms of the disease?

A small number of asymptomatic carriers subsequently showed symptoms of the disease, in most cases such people can recover on their own.

6. What to do with asymptomatic carriers?

According to the Plan for the Prevention and Control of New Coronavirus Infection (Sixth Edition), asymptomatic carriers of the disease must be quarantined for 14 days. At the end of this period, two consecutive DNA tests shall be performed (with an interval of at least 24 hours). If the test results are negative, lockdown can be canceled. If a person has symptoms of the disease during the isolation period, he should be hospitalized immediately.

7. What preventive measures can be taken to reduce the risk of infection from asymptomatic patients?

Speaking about the wider population, the most effective protective measures are wearing masks, maintaining distance, washing hands frequently and avoiding crowded places.


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