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Covid-19, a disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, surfaced last year in Wuhan, China. Months after it and the whole world saw how it surged in its course and wreaked havoc on the world. The deadly virus has taken thousands of lives so far. As the world continues to combat the deadly virus, it is alarming to know that asymptomatic people may be spreading the infection more than those showing signs of coronavirus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infected people who aren't showing any symptoms of the virus are causing most of the spread.
Researchers from Cornell University found that a majority of people aged less than 60 did not show significant symptoms of the coronavirus. For the study, they analyzed over 5,000 individuals who had been in contact with a new coronavirus infection.
Studies have also suggested that in most Covid-19 cases, people show symptoms such as fever, coughing and shortness of breath, at least 6 days after contracting the disease. During this period, when asymptomatic people are unaware that they have been infected with the virus, they unintentionally spread it.
"A significant proportion of SARS-CoV-2 infections occur without symptoms, and that infection can be spread by people showing no symptoms," says CDC.
Another study published in Nature Medicine reported that people with no symptoms were responsible for spreading 44 per cent of the new coronavirus cases.
As per the World Health Organization (WHO), Covid-19 can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This happens primarily because of the respiratory droplets that spray out from a coronavirus patient.
But even asymptomatic patients can spread the virus. "Whether or not they have symptoms, infected people can be contagious, and the virus can spread from them to other people," says WHO.
So, the virus can also spread through normal exhalations carrying tiny droplets that contain the virus, as reported in Aerosol Science and Technology.
As public health officials suggest, everyone should wear masks. It will not only prevent the infection from spreading but also help those suffering from the disease.
"Masks are primarily intended to reduce the emission of virus-laden droplets, which is especially relevant for asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic infected wearers who feel well and may be unaware of their infectiousness to others," says CDC.
CDC also recommends wearing cloth masks as they "not only effectively block most large droplets, but they can also block the exhalation of fine droplets and particles (also often referred to as aerosols) smaller than 10 microns."
They added that "80 per cent blockage has been achieved in human experiments that have measured blocking of all respiratory droplets with cloth masks."
Not that we needed more emphasis on the fact that the protection of yourself and your family is in your hands, we have indeed given you enough reason to practice necessary precautions, especially wearing a mask in tough times like these. Along with wearing masks, it is essential to practice other precautions including social distancing.
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