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Singapore researchers estimate 10% of new Covid-19 infections may be started by seemingly healthy people

The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is saying that any person may now be considered a carrier of Covid-19, despite the absence of symptoms

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Singapore—New research from Singapore is showing that some Covod-19 infections may be started by people who show no symptoms of the disease at all. One out of 10 new infections may be spread this way.

In the light of these new findings, the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is saying that any person may now be considered a carrier of Covid-19, despite the absence of symptoms, according to AP reports.

These new findings are throwing a wrench into endeavours to prevent the spread of the disease, which was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization last month.

The research from Singapore was published on Wednesday, April 1, and is just one among several studies showing similar results—that approximately 10 percent of new coronavirus infections are because of people who are infected with the virus but do not show any signs of illness.

The findings have prompted the CDC to alter its definition of risk of infections for people in the US, releasing new guidelines on Wednesday aimed at people who have been exposed to those who have tested positive or even those who are suspected to be positive for Covid-19. The new guidance underlines that anyone can be deemed a carrier of the virus, which underlines how vital social distancing and other endeavours to stop the spread of the sickness are.

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The research from Singapore studied 243 cases positive for coronavirus in the country from January to March. It included 157 cases of those who had not travelled.

It found that people who were pre-symptomatic sparked infections in seven separate clusters of disease, which made up six percent of the positive cases acquired locally.

In Hubei, where the coronavirus was first discovered and where the spread first occurred, a separate study showed that over 10 percent of the transmissions may have happened before those who spread Covid-19 ever showed any symptoms of the illness.

More research is being done focusing on the possibility that there are cases spread by people positive for the infection who never develop its symptoms, as well as those who did get sick and recovered but continued to be infectious even after recovery.

According to a University of Texas at Austin researcher who studied the spread of the disease in various countries, Lauren Ancel Meyers, “You have to really be proactive about reducing contact between people who seem perfectly healthy.”

It seems now that Covid-19 spreads in several ways: through those who are actually ill, those who are about to get ill, those who have recovered but are still infectious, and those who show no signs of it at all.

Ms Meyers, who was involved in research on coronavirus transmission in China, said that how many infections are spread through each way is still not clear, as studies on asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic infections have not yet been completed.

Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC Director, said in an interview on Tuesday (Mar 31) that as many as 25 percent of infected people may show no symptoms of Covid-19, but did not clarify if this figure included those who did not show any symptoms yet, as well as those who were in recovery already.

Earlier studies on the coronavirus focused on patients who were spreading the disease through droplets coming from sneezing and coughing from those who were infected. —/TISG

Read related: 74 new Covid-19 cases bring Singapore’s total to 1,000

74 new Covid-19 cases bring Singapore’s total to 1,000

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