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Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 Asymptomatic Patients


As China is battling a new COVID-19 outbreak, the increased proportion of asymptomatic patients in the newly confirmed COVID-19 cases has raised questions among the public. Let’s revisit some important information about COVID-19 asymptomatic patients.

Q: What is asymptomatic infection?

A: Asymptomatic infection means people who display no abnormal findings on their lung CT scans and have no symptoms such as fever, cough or sore throat, but test positive for the novel coronavirus.

Q: What is the difference between confirmed and asymptomatic cases?

A: Only those showing symptoms or who have abnormal lung CT scan findings can be labeled as confirmed cases.

Q: Can asymptomatic patients infect others?

A: Asymptomatic patients, like confirmed ones, can also infect others. Confirmed transmission routes include direct transmission, aerosol transmission and contact transmission.

Q: How to find asymptomatic patients?

A: There are three approaches to identifying asymptomatic patients: (1) proactively testing close contacts of confirmed cases during their medical observation period; (2) proactively testing those who have been exposed to the virus during infection source tracing; and (3) proactively testing key populations such as those who have traveled to regions with ongoing COVID-19 transmissions.

Q: How long should asymptomatic patients be quarantined?

A: Asymptomatic patients usually spend on average a week in quarantine.

These individuals undergo nucleic acid tests once daily, starting a day after they are admitted, and are eligible for discharge should the results of two tests, taken at least 24 hours apart, return negative.

Q: Do asymptomatic patients require special medical treatment?

A: At present, asymptomatic patients do not require special medical treatment.


Source: China Daily

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