The crux of the coronavirus is that it spreads so easily. New research reveals the problem that 25% to 50% of people who have it are asymptomatic, meaning they show no symptoms. This then leads people to believe that they do not have it and therefore are less worried about spreading it to others. Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, has pointed out that in the United States as many as 25% of people infected with COVID-19 report no symptoms – the usual symptoms being fever, dry coughing, and chest pain. This means infected people with no symptoms are not properly practicing social distancing, they are going into grocery stores, they are not wearing face masks, they may even be attending social gatherings under ten people. People are often transmitting the virus 48 hours before they show symptoms.
As testing for coronavirus in America is still a struggle, testing in Iceland has been more promising. Iceland has tested more than 17,900 people, roughly 5% of its population. The tests are provided by a company called DeCODE, and the company’s founder Dr. Kári Stefánsson has said that nearly 50% of those who tested positive stated they were asymptomatic. This reveals again that asymptomatic, or mildly symptomatic, people have played a significant role in spreading the virus.
What is the good news about the coronavirus as time goes on? Dr. Robert Redfield of the CDC has said, “Most respiratory viruses have a seasonality to them, and it’s reasonable to hypothesize — we’ll have to wait and see — but I think many of us believe as we’re moving into the late spring, early summer season, you’re going to see the transmission decrease, similar to what we see with flu as the virus then moves into the Southern Hemisphere. We will then have a period of time to continue to work on countermeasures.” As of today, April 1, 2020, we can only hope that the rate of infections begins to decrease by the end of the month.
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