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CHINESE STUDY Finds Asymptomatic Transmission Extremely Low

 
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12/07/2020 09:39 AM

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CHINESE STUDY Finds Asymptomatic Transmission Extremely Low
[link to www.nature.com (secure)]

The citywide nucleic acid screening of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Wuhan recruited nearly 10 million people, and found no newly confirmed cases with COVID-19. The detection rate of asymptomatic positive cases was very low, and there was no evidence of transmission from asymptomatic positive persons to traced close contacts. There were no asymptomatic positive cases in 96.4% of the residential communities.

Previous studies have shown that asymptomatic individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus were infectious3, and might subsequently become symptomatic4. Compared with symptomatic patients, asymptomatic infected persons generally have low quantity of viral loads and a short duration of viral shedding, which decrease the transmission risk of SARS-CoV-25. In the present study, virus culture was carried out on samples from asymptomatic positive cases, and found no viable SARS-CoV-2 virus. All close contacts of the asymptomatic positive cases tested negative, indicating that the asymptomatic positive cases detected in this study were unlikely to be infectious.

There was a low repositive rate in recovered COVID-19 patients in Wuhan. Results of virus culturing and contract tracing found no evidence that repositive cases in recovered COVID-19 patients were infectious, which is consistent with evidence from other sources. A study in Korea found no confirmed COVID-19 cases by monitoring 790 contacts of 285 repositive cases6. The official surveillance of recovered COVID-19 patients in China also revealed no evidence on the infectiousness of repositive cases7. Considering the strong force of infection of COVID-198,9,10, it is expected that the number of confirmed cases is associated with the risk of being infected in communities. We found that asymptomatic positive rates in different districts of Wuhan were correlated with the prevalence of previously confirmed cases. This is in line with the temporal and spatial evolution (especially the long-tailed characteristic) of infectious diseases11.





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