¿Cómo pueden las personas asintomáticas propagar el coronavirus?
Compared to most other viral infections, SARS-COV-2 produces an unusually high level of viral particles in the upper respiratory tract, specifically nose and mouth.When those viral particles escape the environment, that is called viral detachment.
Researchers have discovered that pre-symptoms eliminate the virus at an extremely high rate, similar to seasonal flu.But people with flu normally do not eliminate the virus until they have symptoms.
The location of the detachment is also important.The Sars-Cov, the virus that caused the Sars epidemic in 2003, does not detach much from the nose and mouth.It is replicated deep in the lungs.Since the SARS-COV-2 is present in large quantities in the nose and mouth of a person, it is much easier than the virus escapes the environment.
When people cough or speak, they spray drops of saliva and mucus in the air.Since the SARS-COV-2 throws both in the nose and mouth, these droplets are likely to transmit the virus to people without symptoms.
Public health experts do not know exactly how much propagation is caused by asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic patients.But there are some revealing clues that it is an important driver of this pandemic.
An initial modeling estimate suggested that 80% of infections could be attributed to the spread of undocumented cases.Presumably, undocumented patients were asymptomatic or only had extremely mild symptoms.Although it is interesting, the researchers made many assumptions in that model, so it is difficult to judge the precision of that prediction.
A study that analyzed outbreaks in NOBO, China, found that people without symptoms transmit the virus as easily as people with symptoms.If half of all infected people have no symptoms at some point, and those people can transmit SARS-COV-2 as easily as symptomatic patients, it is safe to assume that a large percentage of propagation comes from people without symptoms.
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Even without knowing the exact numbers, the centers for disease control and prevention believe that the transmission of people without symptoms is an important taxpayer to the rapid spread of SARS-COV-2 worldwide.
What can we do to limit asymptomatic propagation?
Every time a virus can be transmitted by people without symptoms, it must resort to preventive measures.
Social distancing measures and blockages work, but have great economic and social repercussions.This was necessary when epidemiologists did not know how the virus was spreading, but now we know that it follows in large amounts of the upper respiratory tract.
This means that the use of universal masks is the best tool to limit transmission, and there is evidence to support that idea.
On April 3, the CDC recommended that all members of the public use facial coverage when they are out of the house and near others.The World Health Organization finally did the same and recommended universal public masking on June 5.
At this point, nobody knows exactly how many cases of COVID-19 are due to asymptomatic dissemination.But I and many other infectious disease researchers are convinced that he is playing an important role in this pandemic.Using a mask and practicing social distancing can prevent asymptomatic propagation and help reduce the damage of this dangerous virus until we get a vaccine
Monica Gandhi, Professor of Medicine, Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
This article is published by The Conversation under Creative Commons license.Read the original article.