Are Asymptomatics Sick Until Proven Healthy?

Are Asymptomatics Sick Until Proven Healthy?

Note that views expressed in this opinion article are the writer’s personal views and not necessarily those of TrialSite.

By Abir Ballan, MPH- Coordinator of PANDA

 Helen Tindall, BNg, MPH

Across the globe, official public health policy during the COVID-19 pandemic has been underpinned by the concern that people without disease symptoms may transmit the virus. This has led to recommendations such as universal mask-wearing, social distancing, mass testing, stay at home orders, and school and business closures. 

"Searching for people who are asymptomatic yet infectious is like searching for needles that appear and reappear transiently in haystacks, particularly when rates are falling.” (Ref)

The concern that SARS-CoV-2 could be spread by people without symptoms originally came from a single case report. It was alleged that an asymptomatic woman from China had spread the virus to 16 other contacts in Germany. Later reports showed that, at the time of contact, this woman was actually taking medication for flu-like symptoms, invalidating the evidence provided for the theory of asymptomatic transmission. 

As with other common respiratory viruses, SARS-Co...

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