COVID without symptoms may be very rare, study finds

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In a new study from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, researchers found that healthy, unvaccinated adults who get COVID are unlikely to be symptom-free.

The finding challenges other research suggesting that asymptomatic infection is common.

Some studies suggest that asymptomatic infection may occur as often as 50% of the time, but the new research casts doubt on that assertion.

In the study, the team tested 263 uninfected, unvaccinated health care workers. They were generally healthy and had normal immune systems.

Between August 2020 and February 2021, the participants took PCR tests whenever they had symptoms.

They also underwent monthly antibody testing to detect any cases of COVID that were symptom-free or missed by PCR testing.

The participants were also asked to self-report any symptoms. In all, 12 participants tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection and all had symptoms.

The team noted that this study was conducted on an unvaccinated population and may not reflect rates of asymptomatic infection in vaccinated individuals.

As part of the study, the researchers also compared symptoms in the 12 people who were diagnosed with COVID to those in 38 participants who developed non-COVID-19 respiratory illnesses.

Runny nose, sinus pressure and sore throat occurred in more than 70% of both groups. Both also had similar rates of loss of smell or taste.

Those findings show that it’s not possible to reliably differentiate COVID from other respiratory tract infections based on symptoms alone.

If you care about Covid, please read studies about the key to curing COVID-19, and old drug that could save your life from COVID-19.

For more information about Covid, please see recent studies that people can lose 80% of their COVID-19 immunity 6 months after Pfizer shot, and results showing that COVID-19 booster shots prompt stronger, longer protection than original shots.

The study is published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases and was conducted by Dr. Edward Mitre et al.

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