Over time, scientists are making greater progress in studying new coronaviruses,media BGR reported. Some teams have been able to prove beyond any doubt that the new coronavirus is not designed as a biological weapon in the lab; others have figured out how the immune system of patients with mild to moderate symptoms responds to infection. Scientists around the world are also working on vaccines and developing treatments based on drugs commonly used to treat other diseases. Researchers in the Netherlands analyzed how pathogens spread from person to person and concluded that the virus is highly contagious even when patients experience only mild symptoms.
“In this infection, we see very high levels of the virus in the upper respiratory tract, nose and throat,” Marion Koopmans, head of the Department of Virus Science at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, told NPR. This means that the new coronavirus can infect others “from the moment you start sneezing or coughing.”
Because early symptoms vary from person to person and often have flu-like symptoms, some infected people may still be in public without realizing their contagious. Some people may even be asymptomatic, but they can still infect others.
When Koopmans studied the infection of the COVID-19 virus in the Netherlands, she realized how dangerous it was to be. Initially, patients with a history of foreign travel were screened, but doctors then noticed cases of unknown origin. At that time, her team began testing health care workers in hospitals where cases were reported, and found that some of them were mild and still highly contagious. “People may have mild symptoms, just coughing and having a sore throat, but there are already a lot of viruses (in their system),” she says. The researchers also looked at mutations in the virus and found “no really worrying, significant change.”
These developments explain why the virus is difficult to contain and why strict social isolation measures are needed to reduce infection rates. Keeping the virus as indoors as possible can help people avoid infection, but it can also prevent the spread of the virus to others, especially if it is asymptomatic.