Asymptomatic COVID-19 Patients as Virulent as Symptomatic Ones: Study

Asymptomatic patients as infective as ones with COVID-19 symptoms

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asymptomatic corona
Asymptomatic COVID-19 patients are as virulent and infective as symptomatic ones. Pixabay

Asymptomatic COVID-19 patients are as virulent and infective as symptomatic ones and those having no clinical symptoms but tested positive for new coronavirus can infect several healthy people, according to new studies.

Reported by Global Times, those silent virus carriers (asymptomatic patients) have been controversial regarding their infectivity but the news of a woman in Henan Province in China has further triggered public concerns”.

The woman in Central China’s Henan Province was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 after coming into contact with an asymptomatic patient, who also got the virus from another asymptomatic patient.

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“A recent study showed the infectivity of asymptomatic patients (having no clinical symptoms but testing positive for COVID-19) could be nearly the same as confirmed cases,” the report said on Sunday.

Scientists with the Ningbo Center for Disease Control and Prevention in East China’s Zhejiang Province found that 6.3 per cent of confirmed cases’ close contacts were ultimately infected with the virus.

asymptomatic corona
Asymptomatic patients show no symptoms as the majority of them could be in the incubation period. Pixabay

“The percentage for patients with no COVID-19 symptoms’ close contacts was 4.4 per cent. Such a difference is of no statistical significance,” the report mentioned.

Yang Zhanqiu, a Wuhan-based virologist, told the Global Times “that there may be an estimation of at least 200,000 virus varriers with no symptoms currently in China”.

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The patients with no COVID-19 symptoms have strong physical immunity or carry weak virus with less virulence. According to Yang, this is why they don’t show symptoms but still spread the virus in the early stage of infection.

Also Read- Productive Things You Can Do Amid the Lockdown

Asymptomatic patients show no symptoms as the majority of them could be in the incubation period.

The number of infected cases has crossed 7 lakh globally, with nearly 34,000 deaths. (IANS)

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Every 4 in 10 Adults Suffer From Gastrointestinal Disorders Globally: Researchers

Mostly people find it embarrassing to talk about stomach and bowel symptoms

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gastrointestinal disorders
For every ten adults in the world, four suffer from functional gastrointestinal disorders. Pixabay

For every ten adults in the world, four suffer from functional gastrointestinal disorders of varying severity, say Researchers, adding that people think it’s embarrassing to talk about stomach and bowel symptoms.

Functional gastrointestinal disorders, FGIDs, is a collective term for chronic disorders in the gastrointestinal tract. The symptoms may arise throughout the gastrointestinal tract. From the upper part, the esophagus and stomach, they can include heartburn, acid reflux and indigestion (dyspepsia).For the lower parts (the intestines), chronic constipation, abdominal distension or bloating, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are among the complaints.

The current study, published in the journal Gastroenterology, gives an overall picture of the global prevalence of FGIDs. Data of more than 73,000 people in 33 countries were collected by means of web-based questionnaires and face-to-face (household) interviews.

“It’s striking how similar the findings are between countries. We can see some variations but, in general, these disorders are equally common whatever the country or continent,” said study author Magnus Simren from University of Gothenburg in Sweden.Web-based questionnaires were used in most of the countries in the study.

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The findings showed that the prevalence of FGIDs was higher in women than in men. Piaxbay

In some countries, instead, the respondents were asked to reply to the questions when an interviewer read them aloud.The questions posed to the respondents were based on the diagnostic criteria for IBS and other FGIDs. Particulars of other diseases and symptoms, living conditions, quality of life, healthcare consumption, etc. were also requested.

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The findings showed that the prevalence of FGIDs was higher in women than in men, and clearly associated with lower quality of life. According to the questionnaire responses, 49 per cent of the women and 37 per cent of the men met the diagnostic criteria for at least one FGID. The severity of the disorders varied, from mild discomfort to symptoms that adversely affected the quality of life to a high degree.

The prevalence of FGIDs was also strongly associated with high consumption of healthcare, such as visits to the doctor and use of medication, but also surgery, the study said. (IANS)

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Current COVID Testing Strategy Gives Priority to People With Higher Risk: Harsh Vardhan

Health Minister also said that testing 1.3 billion people is neither possible nor feasible

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Health minister Harsh Vardhan
Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that testing 1.3 billion people is neither possible nor feasible. Wikimedia Commons

According to Covid-19 pandemic in India updates, testing 1.3 billion people for COVID-19 is neither possible nor feasible, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in an exclusive interview with IANS on Thursday.

Responding to a question on India’s strategy and the status about testing, he said, “The current testing strategy is need-based and gives priority to individuals who are primarily at risk or have symptoms. It is revised regularly according to the evolving situation.”

Speaking about the details of testing data and capacity the Health Minister said, “As on May 27, our testing capacity is 1,60,000 per day and we have done 32,44,884 tests till date. On May 26, itself, we have conducted 1,15,229 tests. If for a moment, we talk of repeated testing of 1.3 billion population to curb the disease, you would appreciate that this is not only a resource expensive exercise but also neither possible nor feasible.”

He also asserted that from one laboratory at the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune in the first week of February 2020, the number of facilities in the country have increased to a total of 624. This includes 435 government labs and 189 NABL-accredited private laboratories involved in testing at present.

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“”The current testing strategy is need-based and gives priority to individuals who are primarily at risk or have symptoms.”, Harsh Vardhan was quoted saying., Pixabay

Vardhan said priority based and targeted testing will be helpful in detecting more cases of COVID-19 and curbing the disease. “With our efforts at sustained and quality assured scaling up of the testing facilities, I am sure, we shall be better placed for maximum case detection.”

Also Read: 80% Cases of COVID-19 in India Exhibit Nil or Mild Symptoms: Health Minister

On March 16, World Health Organisation Chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said, “We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test.”

India is constantly ramping up its testing infrastructure, along with indigenous development, validation and production of testing kits for RT-PCR in order to have early and aggressive tracing of the infection and by validating TrueNat-based test for COVID-19 and including alternative testing platforms like CBNAAT/GeneXpert and Abott HIV viral load testing machines. The testing criteria has also been widened and evolved from time to time, for instance testing migrant labourers. (IANS)

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80% Cases of COVID-19 in India Exhibit Nil or Mild Symptoms: Health Minister

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says that nearly 80% of COVID cases in India are asymptomatic

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Health MinisterHarsh Vardhan said that almost 80% COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic. Wikimedia Commons

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said almost 80 per cent of the COVID-19 cases in India are asymptomatic or at best with very mild symptoms, according to Covid-19 pandemic in India updates.

In an exclusive interview to IANS, the Health Minister said, “Even today, in almost 80 per cent of the cases of COVID-19, which are being reported in India, the patients tend to exhibit either nil or mild symptoms. These patients are mostly contacts of confirmed cases. Interestingly, had it not been for our contact tracing efforts, and if left to their own in isolation, these patients may not have even remembered or reported their infection.”

Harsh Vardhan, who has recently been elected the chief of WHO’s Executive Board, was answering a query on whether asymptomatic patients who are potential virus carriers and who can take the virus deeper into rural India are causing worry to the government.

He said, “I am aware about WHO’s mention of some laboratory-confirmed cases that are truly asymptomatic. It is equally true, that as on date, there has been no documented asymptomatic transmission.”

However, he added that recently, more symptoms like headache, muscle pain, pink eye, loss of smell, or loss of taste, intense chills, rigors and sore throat have been included in the list of COVID-19 symptoms by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States. “It will require more studies before these symptoms are finally included in our list in India,” he quipped.

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Recently, more symptoms like headache have been included in the list of COVID-19 symptoms. Pixabay

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He added that the new symptoms were very subjective and vague which might go unnoticed, might not be remembered by the patient and, thus, might even go unreported. “Moreover, if for a moment we talk of testing such asymptotic patients, identification of all these asymptomatic cases will require repeated testing of 1.3 billion population which is a resource expensive exercise for any country and is neither possible nor recommended,” the Health Minister said.

He emphasized on priority-based and targeted testing and said that it will be helpful in detecting more cases of COVID-19 and curbing the disease. “With our efforts at sustained and quality assured scaling up of the testing facilities, I am sure, we shall be better placed for maximum case detection,” he concluded. (IANS)