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In this research letter, the authors highlight their work on infectivity of asymptomatic versus symptomatic COVID-19–positive patients. They found that people with close contacts with symptomatic COVID-19 were 3.85 times more likely to contract COVID-19 than those exposed to individuals with asymptomatic disease.
This is an interesting and helpful study that sheds light on infectivity of asymptomatic patients with COVID-19.
– Morgan Soffler, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
Asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 are a potential source of substantial spread within the community setting. However, little information is available about the infectivity and epidemiological significance of people with asymptomatic COVID-19.
Singapore's testing strategy for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is designed to detect infection in both symptomatic and asymptomatic people. Various methods are used. Workers in specific industries, such as construction, marine, and process industries, are routinely tested once per week or every two weeks, and all close contacts of those who test positive for COVID-19 are tested as well. All COVID-19 case detection, regardless of symptom status, triggers public health actions, including contact tracing and the quarantining of close contacts. A close contact generally refers to a person who was within 2 m of the index case for at least 30 min (or for shorter durations in high-risk settings). All quarantined people are tested by PCR at the end of their quarantine period, and are only released from quarantine when they test negative for COVID-19. Serology tests are also done in most people who are infected, to determine the possible duration of their COVID-19 infection, and to assist with epidemiological investigations and containment efforts. As COVID-19 viral load is typically higher before seroconversion than after, seronegative cases are thought to be more infectious than seropositive cases.