Medical Technology

Unknowingly, 4 in 10 people could be affected by the virus.

(Reuters) – Infected people who have no symptoms may be contributing to the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, as they account for 40.5% of confirmed infections worldwide, according to the study published in JAMA Network Open.

The researchers gathered data from 77 previous studies that included 19,884 people who had confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. They found that among infected people in the general community around 40% were asymptomatic and 54% of infected pregnant women and 53% of affected cruise or air travelers, 48% of infected nursing staff or residents in homes, and 30% of infected healthcare personnel or hospitalized patients.

The proportion of patients with asymptomatic infections was approximately 46 percent in North America, 44% in Europe and 28 percent in Asia.

“The high percentage of Asymptomatic infections indicates the risk of transmission of asymptomatic infections in communities,” wrote Min Liu and coworkers at Peking University in China. Officials should look for asymptomatic infections, and those who are found “should be managed similar to the treatment for confirmed infections, such as isolating and contact tracing.”

SOURCE: JAMA Network Open, online December 14, 2021.

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