SINGAPORE — New research by health specialists from Singapore shows evidence that asymptomatic individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 can inadvertently spread the virus.
According to a new study from Singapore published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, medical researchers studied 243 cases of coronavirus infections that occurred in Singapore from January 23 to March 16.
Out of these 243 cases, researchers detected seven clusters of cases that showed possible presymptomatic transmission of the virus.
The researchers determined that 10 cases from these seven clusters were due to presymptomatic transmission.
For example, a man in Cluster E had traveled to Japan from February 29 to March 8 where he may have been infected.
The man later infected his housemate before showing any symptoms. Both developed symptoms on March 11.
A woman in Cluster B, named Patient B1 in the paper, attended an event on February 15 where she likely came into contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient.
Nine days later she attended singing classes with another woman, Patient B2.
Two days later Patient B1 developed symptoms. Patient B2 developed symptoms on February 29.
So, what can we do?
Well, while wearing facemasks is not a guarantee that you won't get the virus, it is a good tool in preventing potentially contaminated droplets of saliva from others (and yourself) from spreading[d].
The U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control recommends, quote, 'wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.'[e]
However, this does not mean you have a green light to go and stock up on medical-grade surgical masks, leave those for the professionals.
They truly need them now.[f] What you can do is buy a washable cloth mask, or make one yourself.
And it goes without saying.
Wash your hands and practice social distancing protocol people.