Asymptomatic Carriers Of Covid-19 Are Major Threats To Disease Control
Ondo State Epidemiologist, Dr. Stephen Fagbemi, has said that some people who are infected with COVID-19 do not show symptoms (Asymptomatic), yet they can infect other people.
This is even as Hospital Virologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Sunday Omilabu, urged Nigerians to continue to maintain social distancing.
Fagbemi said although experts are still learning about the new virus, evidence shows that some people infected with it are asymptomatic, but can still be contagious.
“There are so many things we don’t know about the virus. We don’t know how the coronavirus behaves.
There are so many things we know about [other] viruses, but this virus is not behaving like others, that we know.
“Some people who are infected with COVID-19 do not show symptoms, yet they are able to infect other people.
“Usually, it’s when you show symptoms that you can infect other people; but it has been documented now that people who are not showing symptoms are still able to infect other people,” the epidemiologist explained.
Continuing, Fagbemi said, “We don’t know how many people out there fall into that category, we only know people who have shown symptoms and have reported or have come to the hospital.
“We don’t know the several people in Nigeria and other parts of the world who may not be showing symptoms yet they are infecting other people,” he said.
Recall that on March 28, Kaduna State Governor had tested positive for coronavirus, though he was said to be asymptomatic.
Also on March 30, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, tested positive for the viral infection and he was asymptomatic.
An asymptomatic laboratory-confirmed case is a person infected with COVID-19 who does not develop symptoms, according to the World Health Organisation.
“Asymptomatic transmission refers to transmission of the virus from a person, who does not develop symptoms,” the world health body stated.
Regarding the implication for this, Fagbemi said asymptomatic patients who can infect others are a major concern for disease control, “because it means you can’t identify them.”
“If you have a disease and you don’t show the symptom unless you are able to detect it by luck, you will not know, but you will continue to spread it.
“It’s like someone who has HIV and who does not know and you transmit it to others. It’s a real headache for disease control,” he warned.