Asymptomatic COVID-19 infection: Invisible yet invincible- A
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Transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the agent causing COVID-19, is driven by virus-containing droplets released from the upper airways and by aerosols that can float, dependent on the airflow, for a prolonged period of time in the environment. Aerosols can be spread by just breathing, while droplets originate from speaking, shouting, sneezing and coughing as well as from singing and playing wind instruments.

Of great importance are super-spreading events, which are infection clusters and constitute effective chains of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. For instance, such superspreading events have been observed in Hong Kong, at religious mass events in Iran and choir rehearsals in the US, where singing contributed to a maximum emission of droplets and aerosols and, thus, to successful transmission.

While successful containment measures of COVID-19 in China and many European countries have led to flattened curves, case numbers are rising dramatically in other countries, with the emergence of a second wave expected.

Asymptomatic individuals carrying SARS-CoV-2 are hidden drivers of the pandemic, and infectivity studies confirm the existence of transmission by asymptomatic individuals. The data addressed here show that characteristics of asymptomatic and presymptomatic infection are not identical.

Younger age correlates strongly with asymptomatic and mild infections, and children as hidden drivers. The estimated proportion of asymptomatic infections ranges from 18% to 81%. The current perception of asymptomatic infections does not provide clear guidance for public-health measures. Asymptomatic infections will be a key contributor in COVID-19 spread. Asymptomatic cases should be reported in official COVID-19 statistics.

Dr. C●●●●●y K●●●r S●●u and 8 others like this5 shares