Dr. Lin Weighs in on the Controversy of Whether Asymptomatic People Can Spread COVID-19

The number of people who have been infected with the coronavirus has now surpassed the SARs virus. Dr. Peter Lin, Director at the Heart Research Center in Canada, questions the spread of coronavirus in a report to CNN.

Dr. Lin reminds us that traditionally we have always believed that a virus is spread by people who are carrying the virus. If that person sneezes or coughs then water droplets become airborne. The water droplets contain particles that are breathed in by a person in close proximity and the cycle begins anew.

This theory became questionable when reports by the Chinese Minister of Health indicated that transmission could occur through a person who is asymptomatic. Referring to the period of incubation. Yet the Minister did not offer any data that supports his statement. In a sense, it is a concern because people who appear healthy may be harboring the virus.

A Letter to the Editor

According to Dr. Lin, in January 2020 a letter arrived at CNN describing a situation in Germany. It appears that a woman from Shanghai arrived there and attended meetings with several colleagues. She became ill during her flight back to China, and upon her arrival tested positive for the coronavirus. Back in Germany, one of her business associates tested positive, and eventually, three other people who had been in the group tested positive also.

This case seemed to give credence to the theory that asymptomatic people can transmit the virus because this woman appeared healthy while she was in Germany. The belief was that she infected the group during the incubation period.

CNN followed up with a report that the health authorities in Bavaria and China indicated that the woman apparently had mild symptoms. They came to that conclusion by learning that she had been prescribed drugs that reduce fever and learning that she complained of back pain.

Therefore, the report of her being classified as asymptomatic changed to symptomatic and she obviously transmitted the disease during her stay in Germany.

The Viewpoint of the World Health Organization (WHO)

CNN’s report quoted the WHO stating that the primary cause of virus transmission is through symptomatic cases. However, the agency also agreed that in rare cases it is possible for an asymptomatic individual to spread the virus.

During the period of incubation, there is also the potential to infect others. However, since the viral load is lower during incubation, people would have to be rather close to become infected.

Dr. Lin issued a caveat reminding people that the virus does not move independently. It needs people to spread the disease in order for it to enter the lungs. He advised everyone to avoid people who are coughing and sneezing. He explained that particles from the virus settle on floors, tables, or even backpacks. Our hands can pick up the virus and we become infected when we touch our face.

The doctor offered simple rules that include avoiding people who are coughing or sneezing and avoid touching your face. Of course, washing your hands often and thoroughly is extremely important. If you have a cough be sure to cough into a tissue then discard the tissue.

Dr. Lin went on to say that these rules will keep the virus from spreading. If it has no host and no equipment to cause the virus, it will not spread.

SARS was brought to a close for just that reason. The SARS virus could not find hosts. People must understand the need to stop the spread of the virus falls on all of us.

Rose Duesterwald

Rose Duesterwald

Rose became acquainted with Patient Worthy after her husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) six years ago. During this period of partial remission, Rose researched investigational drugs to be prepared in the event of a relapse. Her husband died February 12, 2021 with a rare and unexplained occurrence of liver cancer possibly unrelated to AML.

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