A new case study of patients with a new type of coronavirus has shown that the virus has an extremely frightening ability to spread — even if it does not produce any symptoms in infected people,media reported. This means that a person infected with the coronavirus may pass the virus to others in days or even weeks, without even realizing that he has it.
The study was published in JAMA. In the study, researchers surveyed a 20-year-old Chinese woman who was confirmed to be infected with the new coronavirus. The virus is believed to have spread from her to several of her family members, and to make the case particular and potentially frightening, the woman never showed any signs of contracting the new coronavirus.
The virus’s ability to spread without immediate symptoms makes discovery and treatment more difficult. In addition, this could mean that statistics and estimates of the number of people infected in China and abroad are completely wrong — if the woman’s case is not an exception.
The incubation period — from the time a person becomes infected with the virus to the time when they begin to develop symptoms — varies from person to person. And the virus, COVID-19, can spread from person to person even during the incubation period.
The 20-year-old asymptomatic woman had no symptoms and was contagious for at least 19 days. Reports from China indicate that in some cases, the incubation period for the virus may be as long as nearly a month. Needless to say, this makes the difficult task of stopping the spread of the virus extremely difficult, as people may be spreading the virus without knowing they are sick.
Currently, the total number of people infected worldwide is close to 100,000, with about 2,200 deaths.