How to Differentiate Between Symptomatic and Asymptotic COVID-19 Transmission?

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The coronavirus infection continues to spread throughout the world with the global toll of cases crossing 8.06 million. Regardless of the various updates from health agencies including the World Health Organization and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, many people are still confused about the virus.

For instance, despite many warnings, a big number of people believe that the spread of the virus is now not as bad or quick like it was at the beginning of the year.

In the US, many have even stopped following the recommended guidelines for the prevention of the coronavirus infection although it has been repeatedly warned that doing so can harm the overall progress on the control of the pandemic.

This is the primary reason why many states in the US are now seeing another spike in coronavirus cases. The state of Arizona, specifically, is at a high risk of having a second wave of coronavirus at the moment since the number of cases has gone up significantly only three weeks after lifting the lockdown.

People seem to have underestimated the virus, according to reports. Many are either choosing not to follow guidelines over such beliefs and contributing to the coronavirus spread or simply are not aware of how it transmits from one infected person to other people.

One of the most common misconceptions is regarding coronavirus spread is the difference between asymptomatic coronavirus transmission and transmission from presymptomatic people.

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A vast majority reportedly believes that asymptomatic and presymptomatic are the same. This is not true. Both can spread the virus but there is a primary difference between them.

The WHO defines asymptomatic people as those who do not develop any symptoms of the coronavirus infection and may not actually develop it at all in the future. Therefore, most of the asymptomatic people may never find out they contracted the virus.

On the other hand, presymptomatic people are those who had contracted the virus and have not shown symptoms yet but will develop them eventually in two to four days.

People who have contracted the coronavirus can spread it to other people regardless of whether they have symptoms or not. So, asymptomatic coronavirus transmission is possible.

Jason Beaubien, the NPR global health correspondent, explains that research has already shown that asymptomatic coronavirus transmission can happen and is common. Lab experiments have already examined people who have the virus but do not have any signs of the infection at all.

A common question by many people is how does the virus spread if there are no visible symptoms of the infection? The answer to this is that the transmission can happen through tiny droplets that are released into the air simply through talking.

Any person sitting close by can inhale those particles and contract the virus. Secondly, an infected asymptomatic person is likely to touch his mouth, nose, or face and then touch other surfaces.

According to research, the coronavirus can survive on surfaces for forty-eight to seventy-two hours. So, contaminated surfaces can also play a role in coronavirus spread.

This way, both asymptomatic and presymptomatic people can transmit the coronavirus infection. However, there is no way to differentiate between both.

People who are either asymptomatic or presymptomatic appear well and normal. This is why the CDC recommends wearing face masks and practicing social distancing, especially in public.

Using hand sanitizer frequently and washing hands especially after touching surfaces in public are also suggested.

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