Top News

Saturday, Sep 26, 2020 11:45 [IST]

Last Update: Saturday, Sep 26, 2020 06:11 [IST]

The walking talking Covid carriers

The Government guidelines on Covid-19 says that those primary contacts but asymptomatic need not be tested for the virus. This is the standard operating protocol followed by most States, including
Sikkim so far.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had earlier modified its coronavirus testing guidelines in August to exclude people who do not have symptoms of Covid-19 — even if they have been recently exposed to the virus. This is bring followed by most countries.
However, experts questioned the revision, pointing to the importance of identifying infections in the small window immediately before the onset of symptoms when many individuals appear to be most contagious.
A new research is saying that people with symptomless Covid-19 could be driving the spread of the virus. Experts say some people may actually have symptoms but not realize they are signs of Covid-19. They said that people who are infected but have no symptoms may have “comparable potential” for spreading the virus as those who have symptoms – including fever, a new and persistent cough and a new loss or change of taste or smell. Researchers found that people without symptoms had comparable viral loads to symptomatic patients.
Now, even people who don’t show symptoms of Covid-19 should be tested if they’ve been exposed to the virus, according to new guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week.
The guidance comes as new research finds that up to 1 in 5 coronavirus infections present with no symptoms but are still contagious. According to the CDC, you should be tested for the virus if you believe you’ve “been in close contact, such as within 6 feet of a person with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection for at least 15 minutes and do not have symptoms.” There have been reports of Covid-19 cases that were diagnosed after close contact with persons who were asymptomatic but subsequently tested positive for Covid-19. It has been confirmed that this indicates “that transmission of Covid-19 from asymptomatic or presymptomatic people happens, is significant, and has contributed to the global spread of the virus.
The findings support the use of face coverings and social distancing among the general public. Since people in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) might have an asymptomatic or presymptomatic infection, it’s critical to follow precautions that interrupt the chain of transmission, like maintaining at least 6-feet distance from others, wearing face masks, practicing hand hygiene, and surface disinfection.
Regardless of the presence of symptoms, the scope of Covid-19 testing should be expanded to include asymptomatic individuals in high-risk settings, such as healthcare facilities. Given the rapid rise of Covid-19 cases in Sikkim, the State government should also look into this angle to flatten the curve.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi