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Asymptomatic SARS Coronavirus 2 infection: Invisible yet invincible.

Authors
  • Nikolai, Lea A1
  • Meyer, Christian G2
  • Kremsner, Peter G3
  • Velavan, Thirumalaisamy P4
  • 1 Institute of Tropical Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 2 Institute of Tropical Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany; Vietnamese-German Center for Medical Research, Hanoi, Viet Nam; Faculty of Medicine, Duy Tan University, Da Nang, Viet Nam. , (Germany)
  • 3 Institute of Tropical Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany; Centre de Recherches Medicales de Lambarene, Gabon. , (Germany)
  • 4 Institute of Tropical Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany; Vietnamese-German Center for Medical Research, Hanoi, Viet Nam; Faculty of Medicine, Duy Tan University, Da Nang, Viet Nam. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases
Publication Date
Sep 03, 2020
Volume
100
Pages
112–116
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.08.076
PMID: 32891737
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

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 the spread of COVID-19. Asymptomatic cases should be reported in official COVID-19 statistics. Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

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