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Scary Science Warning - What Does Asymptomatic Really Mean?

(70 Posts)
ClimbDad Sat 15-Aug-20 10:37:31

In a clinical setting, asymptomatic means the individual patient is unaware of symptoms. It does not mean their infection by COVID19 has no consequence.

This is a useful review of the most recent studies into asymptomatic infection. They suggest we may have to prepare for long term consequences of asymptomatic infection, even in children.

Growing scientific evidence suggests we need to be far more careful about this virus, but hey, let’s not even bother with masks in school.

OP’s posts: |
cakeandchampagne Sat 15-Aug-20 10:40:12

Interesting. Thanks for the link.

icecreamvan Sat 15-Aug-20 10:41:56

A relative had mild Covid back in March.

She’s just been rushed into hospital with pancreatic problems that are related.

The media needs to turn its attention to this (government never will). It’s far more likely to occur and concerning than the chances of Covid related death.

UserNeedsGin Sat 15-Aug-20 10:56:03

@ClimbDad you really are a "glass half empty" sort of bloke aren't you. Are you ever optimistic about anything?

UserNeedsGin Sat 15-Aug-20 10:59:25

And for thread title is embarrassing patronising. I also work for a pharmaceutical company in clinical teams, but I'm pretty optimistic about how things will be soon. Vaccine almost guaranteed, better treatments and kids back at

Oldbagface Sat 15-Aug-20 11:24:26

Thanks for the link @climbDad. I tend to bump into you on a lot of threads. It's good to see some people are taking this seriously daffodil

Clavinova Sat 15-Aug-20 11:31:04

This is a useful review of the most recent studies into asymptomatic infection.They suggest we may have to prepare for long term consequences of asymptomatic infection, even in children.

Where does it specifically suggest this in the two child studies in your link?
("Two studies have reported the same pattern in children with asymptomatic COVID-19 infections in Wuhan, China.")

Extracts from the two studies:

"Despite the delayed NAT conversion, chest CT abnormalities and clinical symptoms did not worsen, implying that COVID-19 in children is a mild disease with a good prognosis." ...

"In summary, a pediatric case series of COVID-19 was described. Although similar to adult patients, pediatric patients tended to experience mild manifestations of COVID-19. Regarding CT features, small patches of GGO with subpleural distribution and unilateral lung involvement were common findings in pediatric patients in the early stage of the disease...All exudative lesions were substantially resolved after treatment, and patients had good prognoses." ...

"CT Changes in Follow-Up Imaging"
"Regarding disease treatment, vitamin C was administered to the two younger patients, while arbidol was administered to the other two older patients.The follow-up CT imaging after treatment revealed that all the pulmonary exudative lesions were substantially resolved." ...

"In summary, COVID-19 in children of Xiangyang city is generally family acquired and often not serious, with a good prognosis. Asymptomatic children can be diagnosed as pneumonia because of chest CT abnormalities. Atypical symptomology and nonspecific laboratory findings tend to muddy the diagnosis, especially if the sole manifestations are chest CT changes."

Conclusions -
"COVID-19 in children of Xiangyang city is often family acquired and not serious, with favorable outcomes. Asymptomatic children can be diagnosed as pneumonia because of chest CT abnormalities. It is essential to actively screen this segment of the population."

Both studies conclude that children may be asymptomatic carriers of the virus and this should be investigated - but they haven't cautioned about long term health consequences in children - in fact quite the opposite, as far as I can see.

Ellsbells12 Sat 15-Aug-20 11:40:51

@UserNeedsGin we need more of you

trappedsincesundaymorn Sat 15-Aug-20 11:41:46

All illnesses whether viral or bacterial carry a risk of long term health problems but it seems that, for you at least, only covid related ones count. Where's a comparison study between the % of long term risks from covid to that of other illnesses?

Drivingdownthe101 Sat 15-Aug-20 12:13:15

Yes, it is awful that viral infections can cause long term issues. My daughter suffered long term post viral complications from hand, foot and mouth disease. She’s recovered now, thankfully.

UserNeedsGin Sat 15-Aug-20 12:31:16


*@UserNeedsGin* we need more of you


SodomyNonSapiens Sat 15-Aug-20 18:18:13

but but but --- that in no way fits the narrative that this thread is directing us to believe. How dare you not believe that we are all going to die ... Oh hang on a minute, we are all going to die. Some day, somehow. Some of us will suffer from all kinds of diseases, others will be lucky and die in their sleep.

Life isn't safe but living it, along with its risks, is infinitely preferable than existing - and even worse, existing just to incite fear in others.

6,000 people die every year in the UK from accidents in the home.

sunseekin Sat 15-Aug-20 18:24:04

Thanks for the link @ClimbDad Completely agree - I really hope research is happening. A completely new virus so best to consider every consequence and possibility within reason and there seems to be plenty of good reasons to act with caution. Thanks for the share.

PleasantVille Sat 15-Aug-20 18:30:23

In a clinical setting, asymptomatic means the individual patient is unaware of symptoms. It does not mean their infection by COVID19 has no consequence.

Other then stating the obvious what are you getting at? I havent come across any kind of misapprehension about the meaning of asymptomatic, ime people understand what it means and its impact on transmission. Obviously we can't make valid predictions about the long term affects of something so new.

ScorpioSphinxInACalicoDress Sat 15-Aug-20 18:35:31

WebMD is one of the most dreadful scaremongering sites spamming social media.
I do social media ad evaluation as a sideline and always highlight their shock tactics and frankly rubbish "this is what nobody knows about <insert random part of body> and why you should immediately go to the ER if <insert random bodily event that happens to everybody every day> happens" articles as "misleading, inappropriate and probably should not be seen".

I prefer to get my Coronavirus information from scientists not dodgy websites.

MedSchoolRat Sat 15-Aug-20 18:37:17

(in article just submitted) We called asymptomatic = no signs of illness within 14 days of positive test. Our population was elderly in care homes so it would be unreasonable to attribute (beyond the 14 day point) any new physical changes to only COVID rather than the generally frail state (of the tested group) that is prone to developing newly identified health problems at any time now/in future.

40% is a commonly cited statistic for "true asymptomatic" and what we found, too. Our list of symptoms even included things like 'general malaise" which is as big an umbrella as you can get for saying "Not feeling quite right."

Not scary. Just a situation to be managed.

countrygirl99 Sat 15-Aug-20 18:51:29

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Jrobhatch29 Sat 15-Aug-20 18:59:05

Message withdrawn as it quoted a deleted post.

ScorpioSphinxInACalicoDress Sat 15-Aug-20 19:10:07

I see the writer of the scary article has an MA in science reporting (whatever that is) and churns this stuff out for numerous online US "medical" and "health" websites.

Countrygirl, no doubt you'll get deleted but well said grin

Kitcat122 Sat 15-Aug-20 19:15:53

A colleague of mine had some family members have Covid in April she appeared to not catch it or have it asymptomatic. She had a heart attack out of the blue last month. Consultant thinks it is connected to asymptomatic Covid. Obviously there's no proof, but it's not to be dismissed.

SheepandCow Sat 15-Aug-20 19:18:29

Just wanted to thank you for your posts @ClimbDad

They're always so interesting and informative.

RoseTintedAtuin Sat 15-Aug-20 19:32:09

Isn’t it interesting that the government has changed the way of measuring COVID deaths to primarily those occurring within 30 days... presumably to avoid including the long term effects leading to death of Covid sufferers...

Jenasaurus Sat 15-Aug-20 19:36:06

A colleague had mild covid in April. In June he was rushed in to hospital with heart problems, then organ failure, he was put on a ventilator and not expected to survive, his family were told to expect the worst, luckily he has survived and is home again recovering, he called me last week for and told me his consultant said that he is sure this was linked to the COVID he had in April.

BogRollBOGOF Sat 15-Aug-20 19:59:00

My dad died of a heart attack in the street, having walked out of a public building while not wearing a mask. He was showing no symptoms of any Coronavirus.
People die. Sometimes suddenly and decades before you expect that they should.
All the more reason to live while the going's good.
Too many people will die in the not so distant future, having had a shit year deprived of their loved ones, human contact and things they enjoy doing. Whatever the cause of death.

Newjez Sat 15-Aug-20 19:59:51

Well asymptomatic can mean one of two things. The virus can't connect to your cells. So you have taken a payload of the virus, but it has no where to go.

Or, your body doesn't mount a response. A lot of the symptoms we feel aren't the bug attacking us. The symptoms are our bodies responding to the bug.

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