The IVY Research Network completed initial screening of COVID-19 in healthcare workers and patients and found that nearly half of those who tested positive had no symptoms.
As the coronavirus pandemic rages, it has become established that not all persons infected with the virus show symptoms. However, it’s still unclear what proportion of infected people is asymptomatic. In the study to evaluate the status of 249 frontline health workers in Tennessee USA, 8% tested positive using serology tests – that identify antibodies against the virus rather than test for the virus itself. This test, therefore, only tells that those with a positive result had the infection sometime prior to taking the test.
The study found that 42% of those that tested positive had no symptoms of a respiratory illness in the two months prior to taking the test. This not only suggests that front-line health workers were at high risk of the infection but also that many may not know that they have the illness at all, posing a health risk to others.