We are learning every day and our knowledge about corona is changing every day
Infected people without symptoms might be driving the spread of coronavirus more than we realized?
Dr K K Aggarwal
President CMAAO, HCFI and Past national President IMA
New studies and a large coronavirus outbreak in Massachusetts bring into question reassuring assertions by US officials about the way the novel virus spreads.
So far, emphasis has been that the virus is spread mainly by people who are already showing symptoms, such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing. But it appears that a Massachusetts coronavirus cluster with at least 82 cases was started by people who were not yet showing symptoms, and more than half a dozen studies have shown that people without symptoms are causing substantial amounts of infection.
WHO has so far emphasized that asymptomatic transmission can happen, but have said that it's not a significant factor in the spread of the virus.
Let’s see opinions
1. CDC says "Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads,"
2. Coronavirus response coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, seemed to strike a somewhat different note on asymptomatic transmission “ She said they're trying to understand people under the age of 20 who don't have "significant symptoms" -- "Are they a group that are potentially asymptomatic and spreading the virus?"
3. "We now know that asymptomatic transmission likely [plays] an important role in spreading this virus,": Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
4. In an article two weeks ago in the New England Journal of Medicine, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, expressed concern about the spread of the disease by people who haven't yet developed symptoms, or who are only a bit sick.
"There is also strong evidence that it can be transmitted by people who are just mildly ill or even pre-symptomatic. That means COVID-19 will be much harder to contain than the Middle East respiratory syndrome or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which were spread much less efficiently and only by symptomatic people,"
5. "Asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic transmission are a major factor in transmission for Covid-19,": Dr. William Schaffner, a professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and long-time adviser to the CDC.