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Topic #10: Transmission of COVID Coronavirus

Question: When is someone with COVID-19 most infectious (i.e. capable of transmitting infection)?

A. A few days before symptoms start to onset of symptoms

B. Days 2-7 after symptoms start

C. Days 7-10 after symptoms start

Answer: A: About 44% of COVID Coronavirus transmissions occur in the 2 days before a person develops symptoms

Viruses are not all the same in terms of when they spread from one person to another. By checking how much coronavirus is shed by patients with COVID-19 and using that information to make complex calculations, researchers in China have estimated that many transmissions occur before symptoms start. This makes transmission of COVID Coronavirus similar to influenza (flu) virus. Other key findings from the research are: 

  • Shedding of virus is highest around the time symptoms start
  • Transmission goes down a lot a week after symptoms start

Why is this information important?

It tells us that while isolation of persons with symptoms of COVID-19 is important, tracking down the contacts they had before falling sick, and putting those people in quarantine, will help stop the spread of COVID Coronavirus.

Read more here https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0869-5

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