Silent infections or Asymptomatic Patients are what Scientists are now beginning to agree that the undisclosed number of COVID-19 cases is high. “Silent infections,” i.e., people who show no symptoms, make it difficult to estimate. Scientists have now found that in truth, there could be many more people infected than previously thought.
Anyone infected with the COVID-19 without showing symptoms is considered a patient with a “silent infection”. People who are not in direct contact with a proven COVID-19 case are rarely tested without symptoms – so they do not learn anything about it.
Still infected people become unwitting carriers and are considered high risk in the spread of COVID-19. This group of carriers also includes children who rarely have severe courses of Covid-19.
Difficult to determine the dark figure for infections with COVID-19
Therefore, it is difficult to determine how many people are actually infected without realizing it and showing no symptoms. At the beginning of April, for example, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that probably 25 percent of those infected had no signs of COVID-19. A new investigation now shows that the number of silent infected people could actually be significantly higher.
Scientists at Macquirie University Hospital in New South Wales, Australia, analyzed data from cruise passengers who set off from the Argentine coast in mid-March for a scheduled 21-day cruise. Onboard: were 128 passengers, 95 crew members. By then, the World Health Organization had already launched a global pandemic. People who had been in countries with high infection rates in the past three weeks were not allowed to board. In addition, fever was measured for all passengers, and hand disinfectants were also distributed on the ship.
Examination on the cruise ship: Over 80 percent showed no symptoms
After a first fever appeared on the 8th day, the ship was isolated. Infection control measures were introduced, the passengers were only allowed to stay in their cabins. Personnel who came into contact with sick passengers had to wear protective equipment.
Eight of the passengers and crew finally had to be taken to the hospital for shortness of breath. On day 20, all remaining 217 passengers and crew were tested for the COVID-19.
The result: More than half 59 percent tested positive. However, it is much more severe: only 19 percent of the demonstrably infected showed symptoms, 81 percent, however, none. This investigation led scientists to suspect that silent infections occur much more often than previously thought.
The spread of the virus in isolated environments, such as cruise ships, has probably been “significantly underestimated,” said one medical researcher.
Cruise data should be considered in exit strategies.
This could also be used to draw conclusions about the future easing of the measures and contact closures. As countries are gradually moving out of the lockdown, In fact, a much higher proportion of the population could be infected.”
Regardless of whether these people are already immune or not, global data is urgently needed to determine the actual infected. Without reliable data, it is difficult “to find a reliable estimate of the number of COVID-19 positive patients without symptoms.”