Do People with Coronavirus Symptoms Carry More Viruses?

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Coronavirus symptoms
Image: Flickr/NIAD

The research from the past six months has shown that the majority of the coronavirus cases are asymptomatic. Major health agencies have estimated that as many as around fifty percent of the people with the infection reports no coronavirus symptoms.

This is why these agencies have also suggested all people follow preventive measures for the virus as a person who is not aware of carrying the virus can easily spread it to others.

On the contrary, a person with symptoms is more likely to isolate himself or herself in order to prevent the further transmission of the virus since he or she is aware of how easily the infection can spread.

However, a big majority of people still believe that people with no symptoms can avoid transmitting the infection to another person as they have fewer viruses in comparison with those who show active coronavirus symptoms.

Does the absence of signs of the infection in people mean that they carry fewer viruses? New research from South Korea states otherwise.

Read the research here. 

More specifically, the findings of the study, which appear in the journal  JAMA Internal Medicine, conclude that asymptomatic people carry as many viruses in their lungs, throats, mouth, and nose as those with signs of the infection.

Prior to the research, the medical community had divided views on explaining the main spreaders of the virus around the globe in such a short span of time.

RELATED: Study Suggests T-Cells Can Prevent Coronavirus Re-infection in People 

Some of the experts believe that symptomatic people are more likely to spread the virus in comparison with those with no signs as they cough and sneeze. Others have stated that asymptomatic cases can spread the virus as much as symptomatic people.

The WHO has also recognized that people can transmit the virus to other people regardless of whether they are showing any signs of the infections or not.

The new study further corroborates the statement and shows that the virus can indeed spread without active symptoms as it showed that infected individuals without symptoms have the same amount of viral load.

Although researchers around the world agree that the findings add to the knowledge on the different modes of transmission of the virus, they also state that the study does not exactly explain how the virus spreads from asymptomatic cases and that further research is still required.

In addition, the medical community has also urged that since there is more evidence to show the infection can transmit without active coronavirus symptoms, there needs to be an increase in screenings for the virus.

Know more about asymptomatic transmission here. 

The role of asymptomatic infections in the current pandemic is not yet known but there needs to be more surveillance and efforts for such cases as well as they can potentially be responsible for the major spread of the virus.

People themselves can also stop asymptomatic transmission of the coronavirus by wearing masks, washing hands, maintaining physical distance, and avoiding public spaces even without having any visible symptoms of the infection.

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