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Health And Family

Asymptomatic coronavirus carriers have high viral loads: study

Agence France-Presse
Asymptomatic coronavirus carriers have high viral loads: study
This undated handout image obtained July 28, 2020, courtesy of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases(NIH/NIAID), shows a colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell (blue) heavily infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (red), isolated from a patient sample.
AFP/US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

WASHINGTON, United States — People who are infected with the coronavirus carry similar levels of the pathogen in their nose, throat and lungs whether they have symptoms or not, a new study from South Korea showed Thursday.

The paper, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, is an important biological line of evidence in support of the idea that asymptomatic carriers can spread COVID-19.

Until now, experts have relied on inferring asymptomatic spread when people contract the virus without contact with a known carrier.

A team of researchers led by Seungjae Lee at Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine analyzed swabs taken between March 6 and March 26 from 303 people isolated at a center in Cheonan, following an outbreak among a religious group in another city.

The group ranged in age from 22 to 36 and two-thirds were women. Of the total, 193 were symptomatic and 110 were asymptomatic.

Among those who were initially asymptomatic, 89 never developed symptoms at all -- about 30 percent of the total.

This finding itself helps gives a sense of what portion of infected people are truly asymptomatic rather than merely "presymptomatic," a subject of confusion.

All were sampled at regular intervals after day eight of isolation, and the samples returned comparable values of the virus' genetic material from the upper and lower airways.

The median time taken for the patients to return negative tests was marginally less for asymptomatic patients compared with symptomatic: 17 and 19.5 days, respectively.

The authors wrote their findings "offer biological plausibility" to reports of asymptomatic transmission.

But they added that their study only looked at the amount of viral genetic material present and did not attempt to follow the subjects to see if that translated to the spread of infectious virus.

ASYMPTOMATIC NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
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LATEST UPDATE: October 26, 2021 - 3:23pm

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October 26, 2021 - 3:23pm

Recognizing the importance of widespread testing, Watsons now sells FDA-certified COVID-19 antigen test kits with a price range of P399-Php 500 in all stores nationwide. The testing kits are for administering by medical professionals such as doctors, nurses and medical technologists and will require medical prescription. The required specifications set by the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) are at 80% sensitivity and 97% specificity and these test kits can deliver at least 95% sensitivity and 99.2% specificity. 

"As more people head out to work, school and gatherings, Watsons knows that antigen test kits are important in helping reduce transmission," said Maita Santiago, Watsons Philippines Customer Director. "Watsons is taking a proactive role as the Philippines continues to fight this pandemic. Tools such as antigen testing kits help provide important information and serve as a guide so the public will know what steps to take."

Having antigen testing available at Watsons, touted as the Filipino's trusted health and wellness partner, means more people will have access to affordable and effective testing options, which can result in fewer transmissions. The antigen test kits will use saliva as the indicator for the presence of the virus and results can be seen in 30 minutes or less. For more information and counseling, you can ask your Watsons pharmacist. You can also download the app at http://bit.ly/WatsonsMobileApp and shop for your vitamins and medicines.  
 

October 26, 2021 - 11:48am

Mexico begins COVID-19 vaccinations for adolescents with chronic diseases in the capital, the latest step in an immunization drive in one of the countries hit hardest by the pandemic.

Authorities in Mexico City say they had begun using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to inoculate minors with comorbidities aged between 12 and 17 years old.

Fifteen-year-old Paola Abigail Chocooj, who has diabetes, was among those participating, some in their school uniforms. — AFP

October 23, 2021 - 10:44am

Peru, which has the world's highest COVID-19 death rate per capita, has surpassed 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus, the health ministry said on Friday.

The ministry announced 25 new deaths over the previous 24 hours, taking the South American country over the symbolic threshold with 200,003 deaths since the pandemic started in March 2020.

The Andean country of 33 million has also recorded 2.2 million infections.

With 6,065 deaths per million population, Peru's COVID mortality rate is the highest in the world, according to an AFP count based on official data.

The news comes at a time of falling daily cases and deaths attributed to the increase in vaccinations, although authorities remain worried about a potential new wave of infections due to the Delta variant that is now predominant in the country.

"We're maintaining a high level of control," health minister Hernando Cevallos said recently. — AFP

October 21, 2021 - 1:41pm

India administers its billionth COVID-19 vaccine dose on Thursday, according to the health ministry, half a year after a devastating surge in cases brought the health system close to collapse.

According to the government, around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people have had one shot and around 30 percent are fully vaccinated.

India suffered a huge spike in cases in April and May, reporting more than 400,000 infections and 4,000 deaths per day, with many hospitals unable to cope and crematoriums overwhelmed. — AFP

October 20, 2021 - 8:22pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered a nationwide week-long paid holiday starting on October 30 to curb COVID infections amid record virus deaths and again urged Russians to vaccinate themselves.  

At a televised meeting with officials, Putin said he supported a government proposal to "declare non-working days between October 30 and November 7 throughout the country" and asked Russians to "show responsibility" and get COVID jabs. — AFP

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