Science

Covid-19 can harm organs and immunity of asymptomatics as well: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 18, 2020

As coronavirus continues to spread across the world, a portion of people who get infected by the disease do not demonstrate the symptoms of it.

Researchers from Wuhan, China, published a paper in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)comparing the clinical characteristics of patients with Covid-19 symptoms and without. The scientists found that asymptomatics are in a much better position than people who show evident signs of the virus. However, asymptomatic are as infectious as any other suffering from Covid-19, as per the BGR report.

 

This came at a time after the World Health Organization had claimed that asymptomatics are not infectious. Later WHO had to change his statement and confirmed that they were as contagious as any other Covid-19 patient.

The research cited in the BGR report stated: “Our finding of less consumption of CD4+T lymphocyte in asymptomatic infections suggests that damage to the immune system in asymptomatic infections was milder compared with symptomatic infections.”

“Although patients who were asymptomatic experienced less harm to themselves, they may have been unaware of their disease and therefore not isolated themselves or sought treatment, or they may have been overlooked by health care workers and thus unknowingly transmitted the virus to others.”

The study informed that liver injuries are highly unlikely in the case of asymptomatic and showed faster lung recovery in CT scans. That means the lungs in asymptomatic patients contain the infection themselves. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is replicating inside their lungs to a certain degree. Even if they don’t experience coughing or have trouble breathing, CT scans would still be able to pinpoint where the virus may be multiplying.

Separately, researchers from Honk Kong published a study in The Lancet a few days ago that focused on virus shedding (transmission) and seroconversion (the appearance of antibodies) of patients who were infected aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, BGR report added.

They also found that asymptomatic patients will develop lung injuries consistent with a Covid-19 infection, including ground glass changes in high-resolution CT scans ”consistent with interstitial pneumonia.” The researchers concluded the asymptomatic patients could carry the virus.

“Despite the positive clinical findings, six of the nine patients remained asymptomatic throughout the 14-day quarantine after leaving the ship (ratio of symptomatic to asymptomatic patients 1:2). If the cruise ship epidemic is a microcosm of the community outbreak scenario, then individuals with or without pneumonia could carry the virus for a long period but remain asymptomatic,” the report noted.

“Asymptomatic patients with few or no comorbidities could spread the disease, whereas symptomatic patients represent only a small, but visible, proportion of total cases.

[…] Transmission from asymptomatic individuals could explain in part the rapid increases in numbers of new cases in high-incidence countries such as the USA, Russia, the UK, Brazil, and European nations,” it added.

All research concluded that the disease could be harmful to asymptomatics as the virus keeps on multiplying itself, and it affects their immune system as well. These patients could infect other people, which is why social distancing and face mask use is so essential during the pandemic.

Published on June 18, 2020

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