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Half of people with severe COVID-19 infection are asymptomatic: why is it dangerous

New data from the UK Office for National Statistics showed that more than half of people with severe Covid infection did not report any serious symptoms. Independent.

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This highlights the risk that people are spreading the virus without knowing they are infected. This method is considered one of the main ones, thanks to which the coronavirus pandemic was able to spread so easily around the world.

The ONS said 53% of people with a strong positive or high viral load detected between December and March did not report any symptoms, compared with the 47% that did.

Excluded from the list are patients who may be at the onset of infection when transmission and symptoms are considered less likely.

Fatigue, headache and coughing were the most common symptoms among people who tested positive for Covid-19.

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“The classic symptoms of fatigue, headache and cough are the ones that are still the most commonly reported by those infected with the virus, while only 1 in 5 experience a loss of taste or smell,” said Sara Crofts, senior statistician at ONS. - About half of those we tested did not report any symptoms even with high levels of the virus in their bodies. This emphasizes that people in the community can unknowingly contract the virus and potentially transmit it to others. ”

During March, 36% of people reported classic symptoms associated with Covid-19, of which 28% reported cough, 20% fever, and 12% described shortness of breath. Loss of taste and smell was reported by 14% of patients. 6% also reported diarrhea and abdominal pain.

The strength of the infection was determined by how quickly the virus was detected in laboratory studies. Faster detection means the patient may have a higher viral load in the body, resulting in a stronger positive result.

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Some high-score patients were excluded from the examination because they could be people who are at an early stage of infection or at its pre-symptomatic stage.

The ONS Infection Survey is based on a sample of private households and does not include hospitals and nursing homes.

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