COVID-19 Can Be Spread Without Symptoms

The science behind COVID-19 asymptomatic spread

Pictured: Still necessary, unfortunately. Source: Pexels
Pictured: Not a conspiracy. Sorry! Source: Pexels

Isolating Issues

Why is this all important? Well, the main point of contention is that people who test positive for COVID-19 generally have to isolate, to stop them from spreading the disease on to other people. This is a basic public health measure that has been in place since the start of the pandemic, and is one of the most obvious and easy tools we have in our repertoire to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.

Specifying Symptoms

The first thing that’s important is to define what we mean by asymptomatic. This is something that is rarely done when people discuss symptoms in news headlines or social media, but it turns out to be extremely important as part of the conversation.

COVID-19 stock photos are…odd. This one is titled “Woman in white hijab sitting on brown wooden chair”. Source: Pexels
Time is the only difference between “currently asymptomatic” and “presymptomatic” unfortunately. Source: Pexels

The Science

And this, in a nutshell, is why we use isolation as a useful way to control COVID-19. Yes, asymptomatic people may spread the disease a bit less, but they do still spread it, and more importantly it’s impossible to tell at face value someone who is currently asymptomatic but is really presymptomatic from a truly asymptomatic infection. Even worse, asymptomatic infections are a small minority of all cases, so it’s most likely that someone who is currently not experiencing symptoms will eventually go on to have them and thus is at high risk of passing on COVID-19.

Like I said, the stock photos are odd. Source: Pexels

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