Part of what makes coronavirus so contagious is its absorption, asymptomatic incubation period. Until recently, the rule was that most cases became apparent between one and 14 days after exposure, with most cases being detected with symptoms sometime around the fourth or fifth day. But a new study published in the journal Advances in science has determined that patients can stay asymptomatic for longer than previously thought. As it turns out, patients are more likely to show their first symptoms approaching the eighth day.
animal testing positive for coronavirus occurred at a New York City zoo. The CDC believes a tiger – which was tested after showing symptoms of a respiratory illness – was infected by a zoo staffer, noting that human-to-animal spread could occur “in some situations”. And for more on the spread of COVID-19, see 13 Precautions to take daily to prevent coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the first case of a coronavirus-positive animal test occurred at a New York City zoo. The CDC believes a tiger – which was tested after showing symptoms of a respiratory illness – was infected by a zoo staffer, noting that human-to-animal spread could occur “in some situations”. And for more on the spread of COVID-19, see 13 Safety Precautions You Should Take Every Day to Prevent Coronavirus.
While only 10 percent of infected study subjects remained asymptomatic for a full 14 days, the researchers found that the average incubation period was 7.75 days, three to four days later than most previous estimates.
Of course, understanding the COVID incubation period can make a tremendous difference in whether we successfully contain the virus. “By giving health authorities a potentially more accurate figure for the incubation period, the results could inform guidelines for control efforts, such as quarantines and studies investigating disease transmission,” the researchers shared in a press release.
The new study is likely to be more accurate than previous studies on the topic of incubation because it used the largest sample of patients in any such analysis to date. As the researchers pointed out, “The few existing estimates of four to five days were based on small sample sizes, limited data, and self-reports that could be prejudiced by the patient or interviewer’s memory or judgment.” Rather, this study relied on public databases that recorded infection dates as they occurred, to try to eliminate memory bias.
Finally, the researchers came to a more surprising conclusion: it is possible that we underestimated the total 14-day incubation period. The team determined that there is between a five and 10 percent chance that this is the case – meaning that sick individuals can put others at risk by ending their quarantine very quickly. This is why, as virus data continues to unfold, it is wise to err on the side of caution: if you suspect you have been exposed, do not wait for the symptoms to be confirmed. When or if they come does not affect your ability to spread the coronavirus. And for more on asymptomatic cases, find out why 80 percent of people in this age group are asymptomatic.
Gallery: 5 Strange Symptoms Of New COVID That Doctors Are Reporting (Better Life)
5 Strange symptoms of new COVID that doctors are reporting