Half of Individuals Contaminated With Omicron Could Not Have Identified It: Examine

By Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter


WEDNESDAY, Aug. 17, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Are you a type of people who thinks they’ve in some way miraculously managed to keep away from COVID-19 an infection greater than two years into the pandemic?

You could be mistaken, claims new analysis that found most individuals hit by the extremely contagious Omicron variant had signs so delicate they did not know they had been contaminated.

A full 56% of these contaminated weren’t conscious they’d COVID-19, researchers report. Earlier research had discovered that as many as 80% of these contaminated by no means skilled signs.

“These findings assist to substantiate what we now have suspected for a while, which is that many COVID infections aren’t being detected or acknowledged — partially as a result of they don’t seem to be leading to a variety of signs and partially as a result of there may be restricted entry to or use of diagnostic testing,” stated lead researcher Dr. Susan Cheng. She is with the division of cardiology on the Smidt Coronary heart Institute of Cedars-Sinai Medical Middle in Los Angeles.

“Most individuals with COVID being unaware of their an infection standing, particularly whereas actively transmissible, is probably going a significant driver of the continuing pandemic that we’re all nonetheless making an attempt to make our means by,” she added.

For the examine, Cheng’s group took blood samples from well being care staff, and in 2021 they had been additionally in a position to acquire blood samples from sufferers. That a part of the examine was funded by Sapient Bioanalytics, which examined the samples for the virus.

The researchers had practically 2,500 well being care staff and sufferers contribute blood samples simply earlier than or after the beginning of the Omicron surge.

They recognized 210 individuals who had been contaminated with the Omicron variant. Solely 44% of those individuals had been conscious that they’d been contaminated. Of those that had been unaware, solely 10% stated they’d signs, which they attributed to a standard chilly or different an infection.

“Greater than half of people that developed Omicron an infection had been unaware of their an infection. Normally, they’d delicate or no signs. Within the few cases the place there have been delicate signs, these signs had been attributed to another trigger, similar to a standard chilly,” Cheng stated.

To attempt to beat the pandemic, it is important that folks know that they will have COVID-19 and never have any or solely delicate signs, however nonetheless unfold the an infection to others, she careworn.

“Rising an infection consciousness may assist an ideal deal to curb the continuing unfold of COVID throughout our communities,” Cheng stated. “As a result of an infection consciousness charges look like low, there may be super room for enchancment. We now have the instruments to realize this enchancment, and we are able to every do our half to, hopefully, get by this pandemic sooner and collectively.”

Infectious illness professional Dr. Marc Siegel, a scientific professor of drugs at NYU Langone Medical Middle in New York Metropolis, stated this examine clearly exhibits that COVID-19 has contaminated many extra individuals than has been reported.

“There is a heck of much more delicate or asymptomatic or very, very mildly symptomatic COVID on the market than we’re acknowledging, and that signifies that we’re getting a variety of immunity no less than to this variant,” he stated. “Which may assist clarify the general image of the present state of the pandemic, which is that there is a variety of delicate instances, however there’s additionally a variety of extreme instances.”

Siegel thinks the immunity one will get from the virus has been underplayed.

“It is particularly essential now after we’re seeing how simply transmissible this factor is,” he stated. “We all know we’re undercounting. Once I see 100,000 instances a day, I believe it is actually one million instances. We’re attending to the purpose the place the overwhelming majority of individuals in the USA have had COVID in a single type or one other.”

The mixture of immunity from the virus itself and that gotten from vaccination might assist gradual the pandemic, Siegel stated.

Vaccination is essential in stopping extreme illness, particularly amongst these most in danger. “I am encouraging sufferers to get boosted to lower the chance of hospitalization,” he stated.

Quickly, Siegel expects to see new vaccines that can be simpler than the present crop, together with nasal vaccines and common coronavirus vaccines.

SOURCES: Susan Cheng, MD, MPH, division of cardiology, Smidt Coronary heart Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Middle, Los Angeles; Marc Siegel, MD, scientific professor, drugs, NYU Langone Medical Middle, New York Metropolis; JAMA Community Open, Aug. 17, 2022, on-line

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