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40% of People Infected With COVID-19 Have This in Common

Hint: It can be very hard to detect.
People looking down

A dry cough, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, and loss of sense of smell and taste—those are the symptoms that are most frequently associated with COVID-19. However, according to the CDC, one of the scariest symptoms of coronavirus—due to the fact that it is the one most responsible for the spread of the highly infectious and potentially deadly virus—is a little harder to identify. 

According to new guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), highlighted as part of their COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios section on the CDC website, their "current best estimate" is that approximately 40% of people infected with the virus show absolutely no symptoms of the disease—up from their 35% estimate in May. They also emphasized that the number of asymptomatic cases remains uncertain.

According to one major study, the main symptoms reported by coronavirus patients are fever (78%), cough (57%) and fatigue (31%). 

Shining a Light on Asymptomatic People

Also new to the section is the infection fatality ratio. "IFR takes into account both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases and may therefore be a more directly measurable parameter for disease severity for COVID-19," they explain. Previously, they only took into account symptomatic cases as part of their fatality rate. Their "current best estimate" scenario calculates the infection rate at 0.65%, meaning that 0.65% of people infected with the virus—including people with symptoms and those without—will die from it. 

They also note on their chart that approximately half of the transmission occurs prior to someone getting sick and showing symptoms—which is up from their 40% estimate in May. 

As far as the transmissibility of the virus from asymptomatic people compared to people with no symptoms, they estimate is 75%, down from their last estimate of 100%. However, they do explain that "The relative infectiousness of asymptomatic cases to symptomatic cases remains highly uncertain as asymptomatic cases are difficult to identify and transmission is difficult to observe and quantify." 

You May Be Spreading COVID-19

As of July 12, 3.173 million people have been infected with COVID-19 in the United States alone—and 133,666 people have died as a result of it. Experts maintain that this latest surge in cases is primarily related to asymptomatic spreaders. If you want to avoid becoming a statistic, or creating one, wear your face mask, avoid crowds, practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently, and here are 20 places you should avoid at all costs

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