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Old 03-25-2020, 06:25 AM
Stranger On A Train is offline
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Manor Farm
Posts: 19,882
The symptoms resulting from infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus are so variable from patient to patient that is essentially impossible to diagnose the onset of COVID-19 with confidence unless a patient is experiencing profound respiratory distress (e.g. inflammation of the lungs with apparent consolidative pulmonary opacities from chest radiography). Many patients are marginally symptomatic as the NEJM paper indicates, and because there is no comprehensive testing to sample the entire population we can only guess at the proportion of asymptomatic carriers based upon how the virus has spread.

FWIW, a very rough dynamical system model I built a couple of weeks ago of the spread through the United States mainland using the data publicly available at the time from Johns Hopkins indicated a much higher percentage of carriers who are asymptomatic or with such mild symptoms that they don’t report, and depending on some assumptions of P2P transmissibility and residual presence in the environment had an R0 of at least 4 and potentially higher than 6, especially in dense urban areas where public transit is widely used. I haven’t bothered updating the model because the inexcusably limited amount of testing of even symptomatic patients make it pointless but i suspect post hoc antibody testing and analysis will reveal more than 80% of carriers were completely asymptomatic or had such mild symptoms that they were taken to be allergy or lack of rest. Which means that nearly everyone who contracts the virus is a “super spreader”.

There are, of course, the typical number of independent pathologies both infectious and otherwise, and stress-induced symptoms (which are just as real from an effect standpoint as infectious illness) so the best thing you can do for yourself and all of the at-risk people who have not yet been infected is follow the guidelines for public hygiene (social distancing, hand washing, disinfect door handles, railings, and other commonly touched surfaces) and encourage people with pronounced but not critical symptoms and those at risk to isolate and self-careto the extent possible.


Last edited by Stranger On A Train; 03-25-2020 at 06:26 AM.