According to a study in Germany, an infected person in five does not present a symptom of the COVID-19.
May 4, 2020 8: 30am
Updated at 22h03
An infected person in five does not present a symptom
BERLIN — One in five people infected by the new coronavirus does not present a symptom, revealed on Monday a study conducted in one of the main foci of the pandemic in Germany.
A team of researchers from the University of Bonn has carried out a detailed study of patients identified in Gangelt, a town of about 11,000 inhabitants located in the district of Heinsberg, one of the main foci germans after the participation at a carnival a couple infected.
This study, based on interviews and surveys of 919 people, from 405 households, thus allows to determine with accuracy the case-fatality rate of the infection. To Gangelt, some 15% of the population has been infected. The death rate among these patients has reached 0.37 percent.
“If we extrapolate this figure to approximately 6700 deaths associated with the COVID-19 in Germany, the total number of people infected would be estimated at about 1.8 million,” according to the study, either a number “10 times higher than the total number of cases officially reported”.
“In Gangelt, 22 % of the infected individuals had no symptoms,” reveals the study.
“The fact that apparently an infection on five occurs without symptoms of illness visible suggests that infected individuals who excrete the virus and can therefore infect other people can not be identified reliably on the basis of recognizable symptoms of the disease,” noted professor Martin Exner, a co-author of the study.
This aspect confirms, according to him, the importance of the general rules of distance and hygiene.
“Any person supposed to be in good health that we encounter can be a carrier of the virus without knowing it. We need to be aware of this and act accordingly,” advises the researcher, while Germany has embarked on a déconfinement progressive.
Heinsberg has become a focus of the epidemic because of the holding of this carnival.
Most of the people who were infected showed symptoms, more than other patients who did not participate in the rally.
“In order to determine if the physical proximity with the other participants and the increased formation of droplets by conversations and singing loud, have contributed to a more severe disease, we anticipate further investigations in co-operation,” warns the research team.
The study further states that the infections within a single family are fairly limited and that, more generally, the rate of infection appears “to be very similar among children, adults and the elderly and is apparently not of the age nor the sex.