COVID-19 Latest: Study Shockingly Finds That Asymptomatic Individuals Possess Higher Viral Loads Of SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Than Symptomatics
: Researchers from Ankara City Hospital, Yildirim Beyazit University School of Medicine-Turkey and the Public Health Institutions of Turkey have in a new study found that asymptomatic individuals possess higher viral loads of the SARS-CoV-2coronavirus than symptomatic individuals.
To date, the SARS-CoV-2 virus dynamics in different hosts and different samples and their relationship with disease severity have not been clearly revealed. The aim of this study is to evaluate the viral loads of 6 different sample types (nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal combined, oral cavity, saliva, rectal, urine, and blood) of patients with different ages and clinics, to reveal the relationship between disease course and SARS-CoV-2 viral load, and differences in viral loads of asymptomatic and symptomatic patients.
The study findings demonstrate that asymptomatic patients have higher SARSCoV-2 viral loads than symptomatic patients and a significant decrease in viral load of nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal samples was observed with increasing disease severity. Factors associated with poor prognosis are found to be significantly correlated with low viral load.
The study findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal: Infection. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s15010-020-01548-8
The COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2), continues to spread across the world at exponential rates. To date, there are over 62.7 million infections and more than 1.46 million related deaths recorded globally.
Numerous studies have shown that asymptomatic carriers can spread the virus even if they do not manifest any symptoms, such as fever and cough.
Shockingly, this new study shows that asymptomatic COVID-19 patients have greater viral loads than those with symptoms.
The study team aimed to evaluate the viral loads of six different sample types of patients of different ages and clinics to determine the relationship between disease course and SARS-CoV-2 viral load.
The COVID-19 pandemic first emerged in Wuhan City, China, in late December 2019. From there, it has spread to over 191 countries and territories.
Significantly on January 7, 2020, the causative agent was identified in humans and was named SARS-CoV-2. By March, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic.
The COVID-19 disease is a challenging pandemic. As the disease evolves, new information emerges. For instance, COVID-19 was first described as a respiratory tract infection. However, as the virus spread across the globe, many patients manifested other complications. The SARS-CoV-2 infection also causes systemic inflammation and thrombosis along with a list of other medical conditions.
Although some individuals experience severe disease, the majority of patients only develop mild to moderate symptoms. In some cases, they do not manifest any symptoms at all. Called asymptomatic carriers, they contribute to the vast spread of the illness.
This new research study highlights the role of asymptomatic spread in the coronavirus pandemic.
In order to arrive at the study fi
ndings, the researchers collected nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal, oral cavity, rectal, saliva, urine, and blood samples from patients who were hospitalized due to COVID-19.
For the study, a total of 360 samples from 60 patients were obtained upon admission. Of these, 25 percent did not have symptoms, while 75 percent were symptomatic. The Public Health Institute of Turkey Virology Reference and Research Laboratory analyzed the samples.
The study team found that vital loads of asymptomatic patients were higher when compared with symptomatic patients. Further, the viral load had a negative trend with increasing age, while a significant decrease in viral loads was seen with increasing disease severity.
Corresponding author, Dr Imran Hasanoglu from the department of infectious diseases and clinical microbiology, Ankara City Hospital told Thailand Medical News, “This research findings demonstrate that asymptomatic patients have higher SARS-CoV-2 viral loads than symptomatic patients, and unlike in the few past studies, a significant decrease in viral load was observed with increasing disease severity.”
The study team noted that factors tied to a poor prognosis, including bilateral ground-glass opacity in chest X-ray, low lymphocyte count, and older age, are correlated with low SARS-CoV-2 viral load.
The study team said, “COVID-19 is a complicated puzzle with pieces of many colors and shapes. Further, virologic and immunological studies are urgently needed to put all the pieces together and see the big picture.”
Importantly asymptomatic patients are known to spread the virus without them knowing they are infected. This makes it harder for countries to control the spread of the virus.
At present, the second wave is taking a toll on many countries. Everywhere from Europe, America, Canada, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar and even China are seeing new surges. The only exceptional country is Thailand which has managed to keep its infection rates down through strong online laws and emergency decrees allowing only state officials to comment anything about the local COVID-19 situation.
The United States has reported over 13.4 million confirmed infections and more than 267,000 Americans have died from the disease.
Many countries are reporting high number of cases include India, with over 9.4 million cases, Brazil, with more than 6.3 million cases, France, with at least 2.28 million cases, and Russia, with more than 2.25 million cases, among others. Mexico reported more than 1.1 million confirmed cases, and a staggering 106,000 deaths tied to the infection.
Britain has claimed that only 1.62 million of its citizens and 58, 342 Brits have died from COVID-19 but many are speculating that the British authorities have been concealing the actual figures and the actual amounts could be two to three fold.
As the winter season is fast approaching in the northern hemisphere, health experts warn that exponential surges in infections and deaths will be reported over the coming weeks. With many individuals not exhibiting symptoms of the infection, staying cautious around others is crucial to prevent being infected with the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus.
Even the eventual mass usage of vaccinations will not help curtail the COVID-19 pandemic which is expected to last for years and which will exacerbate in each new wave with newer and severity complications as the virus evolves and mutates even more (in some cases due to mankind’s stupid initiatives!) and some of the vaccines are expected to give rise to new issues including antibody
-dependent enhancement (ADE
) etc. Despite the need to focus on proper drugs and therapeutics that can control the virus and treat the various aspects of the disease including the long haul aspects of the diseases, an over emphasis was mistakenly placed on vaccines and antibody protocols which will only eventually need to more complications eventually.
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