More than half of COVID-19 cases may be spread by asymptomatic carriers


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A new model from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control shows that nearly 60-percent of coronavirus transmissions come from asymptomatic people. News 2 reached out to Dr. William Schaffner, Professor of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt, to learn more about the asymptomatic spread of COVID-19.

Those who have the virus can still shed it and infect others, even if they have no symptoms.

“A lot of people get infected with the virus and have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, but they can, as we say, shed the virus. They can breathe it out. And if you’re close by, you can breathe in that virus, and you can become sick. So, these people who have no symptoms, we call them asymptomatic, are actually stealth transmitters.”

The best way to deal with these stealth transmitters is to keep doing those things that we know keep the virus at bay.

“We add all those layers of protection. First, the mask, six-foot distancing, avoiding large groups. Hey, it makes sense. The more people that have gathered together, the more likely somebody, or more than one person is likely to join the group and bring the virus along with them.”

You can read the entire CDC study, which was published in JAMA Network Open, here.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


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