Fears of Covid’s silent spreaders – who suffer from no symptoms but can pass the virus on to others – may have been overwhelmed.
A study of nearly 30,000 people found asymptomatic carriers are about 68 percent less likely to transmit the virus than those who become ill.
No10 used concerns about asymptomatic spread to justify forcing Britons to obey keys and wear masks.
They are thought to be responsible for up to a third of all infections, and many scientists have claimed that asymptomatic patients were just as infectious as the sick.
But a new global study covering 42 countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, found that they were responsible for only 14 percent of cases.
They also estimate that their overall risk of transmitting the virus to someone else is “about two-thirds lower”.
Scientists have claimed that Covid’s ability to spread asymptomatically was one of the reasons for severe social restrictions.
During one of the national incarcerations in January 2021, the Government said that about a third of people with Covid had no symptoms and urged people to “act as if you have it”.
Researchers have found that people with asymptomatic infections are two-thirds less likely to transmit the virus to others than those with symptoms. The idea that someone could carry the virus without knowing it was part of the reason the British were asked to wear masks at various stages of the pandemic.
The risk of asymptomatic people spreading Covid was part of a government message urging people to obey a key in January 2021.
WHAT IS THE FULL LIST OF COVID SYMPTOMS?
According to the NHS, symptoms of Covid in adults may include:
- high temperature or tremor – high temperature means you feel heat to touch your chest or back (no need to measure your temperature)
- new, persistent cough – that means a lot of coughing for more than an hour, or 3 or more cough episodes in 24 hours
- loss or change of your sense of smell or taste
- shortness of breath
- feeling tired or exhausted
- sore body
- sore throat
- stuffy or runny nose
- loss of appetite
- get sick or get sick
Experts analyzed data from 130 studies from 42 countries.
They involved 28,426 people who captured Covid between April 2020 and July 2021.
Of these patients, nearly 12,000 had an asymptomatic infection, having tested positive for PCR but had no symptoms.
All studies included the results of community screening programs, contact pacing, and surveys in specific outbreaks such as on cruise ships.
They found that the “secondary attack rate,” how likely Covid-infected people would be to transmit the virus to others, was 68 percent lower for asymptomatic cases, compared with those with symptoms.
Scientists also estimated that between 14 and 50 percent of Covid infections were asymptomatic.
They said the range was so high due to the differences in the methodologies of the studies from which they extracted the data.
But lead author Diana Buitrago-Garcia of the University of Bern in Switzerland suggested that their role in Covid’s overall delivery was unimportant.
“If both the proportion and transmissibility of asymptomatic infection are relatively low, people with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection should be responsible for a smaller proportion of total transmission than asymptomatic individuals,” she said.
A co-author, Professor Nicola Low, an expert in social and preventive medicine at Bern, said that although there are clearly asymptomatic cases are less infectious, the true scale of these cases in the pandemic was difficult to calculate.
“The true proportion of SARS-CoV-2 infection is not yet known, and it would be a mistake to rely on a single number because the 130 studies we reviewed were so different,” she said.
“People with a really asymptomatic infection are, however, less infectious than those with a symptomatic infection.”
At the start of the pandemic, the NHS listed only three symptoms of Covid: high temperature, cough and loss or change in taste or smell. But it has quietly expanded its list of all signs of the virus to include loss of appetite, feeling or feeling sick, headache, shortness of breath, feeling tired, sore body, sore throat, blockage or runny nose and diarrhea were added to the list in April.
What are the latest Covid statistics in the UK?
The latest data for the UK shows that Covid cases are still collapsing.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) Analysts estimate just over one million, or one in 55 people, in England had the virus on any given day of the week until May 13th.
This is down 14 percent from the previous week.
Similar falls were recorded in the other UK nations, with only one in 45 people in Scotland, one in 40 in Wales and one in 60 in. Northern Ireland presumably infected.
It marks the sixth consecutive week when the huge ONS test survey – now the best barometer of the outbreak – reported a weekly drop in cases, despite no Covid restrictions.
The government is relying on the study, based on swabs of thousands of random people, to track down the coronavirus now that free trials have been removed for the vast majority of Britons.
Another limitation of the study, which continues when more data is available, is that it only includes studies until July 2021.
This, as the authors emphasize, means that it will not include data on more recent Covid variants such as Omicron, which appeared only in November last year and is softer than previous versions of the virus.
It also means that the sample size includes data from and before and when vaccines began to be launched in various countries that could influence the results.
Most of the studies included in the research were published in the journal PLOS Medicinewere of Europe and the Americas, with 45 of each.
The authors also emphasized reduced routine testing, as countries such as the UK reduce their routine pandemic testing and will also influence future research on asymptomatic cases.
Fears of asymptomatic Covid cases inadvertently spreading the virus were part of a government rationale to encourage people in early 2021 to get tested twice a week.
At the time, then-Health Secretary Matt Hancock said regular testing was one of the best ways to catch asymptomatic cases and keep people safe.
“About 1 in 3 people have coronary artery disease without any symptoms, so regular testing is one of the simplest and easiest ways we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe,” he said.
‘I would encourage everyone to accept the offer and test twice a week.’
Covid symptoms themselves underwent several changes during the pandemic.
Initially, British health officials admitted only three symptoms: high temperature, cough and loss or change in taste or smell as signs that someone had the virus, despite other countries including up to 14.
But in April this year the NHS quietly expanded the list to 12, including loss of appetite, feeling or feeling sick and headache, shortness of breath, feeling tired, sore body, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose and diarrhea. .