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Coronavirus: Is There A Way To Know If You Are An Asymptomatic COVID Carrier?

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Covid appropriate behaviour has become a part of our lives since March 2020, and with the passage of time, the COVID-19 virus has transformed and transmuted to different versions. The threat and anxiety that covid posed in its earlier stages have reduced substantially, but it is still playing quite a large role in our lives. We have seen the covid cases go down and then go up again several times, and we have somehow become accustomed to it. But now, even though the covid cases numbers are known to fall, there lies a bigger and more importantly undetected issue. The asymptomatic carriers of covid.  

Asymptomatic covid carriers are people who have contracted covid but do not exhibit the known symptoms of the disease. They may not show any symptoms but can transmit the infection to others unknowingly. The number of asymptomatic people is on the rise, but due to the reduced power of the virus, the situation isn’t as serious as before. 

Why Are Certain People Symptomatic Whereas Others Are Asymptomatic?

We have been aware of asymptomatic carriers of covid since the dawn of the disease, though most affected were symptomatic. That was mostly because of the early covid variants-they were not only powerful and potent but also we had no vaccines. But over time, we have achieved good vaccination coverage, have learnt to adapt to all safety precautions meant to reduce the risk of exposure. This is one of the primary reasons why most people are asymptomatic these days.  

Another contributing factor here is the innate immune system in people. The innate immune system is the first line of defence that we are born with, which protects us against the first attack of diseases. People with a stronger innate immune system are less likely to show symptoms than the ones with a compromised immune system. In the former case, the virus isn’t able to reach the adaptive immune system to trigger the common symptoms. If someone is fully vaccinated, that too increases their immunity considerably. 

But even then, asymptomatic covid carriers can transmit the disease just as well as the symptomatic ones. That is why proper precaution is needed.  

Carriers mean they carry the virus but they don’t have disease. Currently the tests for COVID only detect whether or not the virus is there in the body and the quantity of virus in body.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Can Asymptomatic People Be in The Way of Harm?

Yes, asymptomatic covid carriers can be in the way of harm, but the risks are considerably lower than symptomatic people. Researchers in Wuhan, China has published a paper that confirmed that even asymptomatic people can get lung diseases, as the virus keeps multiplying inside their bodies. But on a positive note, they may also have a higher chance of recovery, especially if treated early. 

How To Know If You Are Asymptomatic?

There is no distinct way of knowing if you are asymptomatic other than testing for it. If you show mild symptoms or if you have been in contact with a symptomatic covid carrier, then it is best to quarantine yourself for at least 7 days, at least as a precaution. It is not mandatory to be tested if you have been in contact with a covid positive person unless you are exhibiting symptoms or belong to a high-risk group (age more than 60 years, comorbidities like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, cancer, weak immunity, etc).  

Silent carriers or spreaders are the ones who have the infection but do not show any symptoms, children are not prone to be silent carriers, RTPCR or raid antigen is very helpful for detection in such cases.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D.

What Measures Can Be Taken to Keep Yourselves and Others From Contacting Covid?

There are certain precautionary steps that one can take to keep themselves and the people around them safe from Covid. Some of them are:

  1. Mask-up – Use a well-fitting, good quality face mask when stepping out of the home. It can help you stay protected not only against the virus but also from dust and allergens.  
  2. Maintain distancing – Covid is still to leave so you can be safer if you avoid closed spaces and crowded areas as much as possible.  
  3. Hand Hygiene – Washing your hands for 40 seconds as often as possible can reduce your risk of infection.
  4. Sanitize – Make sure to sanitize your edibles, parcels and packaged items when they arrive at your home.  
  5. Stay home – Do not go out if it is not necessary. Try to stay at home if you can during these uncertain times and reduce going out as much as possible.  
  6. Healthy Habits – Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, adding Vitamin C to your diet, staying hydrated, sleeping well and staying happy can help you attain good health. If you experience any signs of illness, consult a doctor immediately.    

Final Thoughts

Covid might have wreaked havoc in the world, but with the passage of time, we are seeing a tinge of hope in our future. We have come a long way in our battle with Covid, and if we just take the right steps for a bit longer, we are surely going to emerge victoriously. 


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