Do Only People With Symptoms Transmit COVID-19?

Can you be contagious with COVID-19 if you have no symptoms?

In a small number of case reports and studies, pre-symptomatic transmission has been documented through contact tracing efforts and enhanced investigation of clusters of confirmed cases.

12-17 This is supported by data suggesting that some people can test positive for COVID-19 from 1-3 days before they develop symptoms.

6,16 Thus, it is possible that people infected with COVID-19 could transmit the virus before significant symptoms develop..

How does COVID-19 spread between people?

See full answerCOVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which spreads between people, mainly when an infected person is in close contact with another person.The virus can spread from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe heavily. These liquid particles are different sizes, ranging from larger ‘respiratory droplets’ to smaller ‘aerosols’.Other people can catch COVID-19 when the virus gets into their mouth, nose or eyes, which is more likely to happen when people are in direct or close contact (less than 1 metre apart) with an infected person.

Can adolescents spread COVID-19 to other people even if they have mild or no symptoms?

Yes. Infected people in all age groups – including adolescents – can transmit the virus to other people, even if they have mild symptoms or do not feel ill. The virus is spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks. These droplets can land on objects and surfaces. People can then become infected by touching these objects or surfaces, and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

Is a smoker at a higher risk of getting the COVID-19 virus than that a non-smoker?

See full answerAt the time of preparing this Q&A, there are no peer-reviewed studies that have evaluated the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection associated with smoking. However, tobacco smokers (cigarettes, waterpipes, bidis, cigars, heated tobacco products) may be more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19, as the act of smoking involves contact of fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) with the lips, which increases the possibility of transmission of viruses from hand to mouth. Smoking waterpipes, also known as shisha or hookah, often involves the sharing of mouth pieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in communal and social settings.

Can the coronavirus spread via feces?

There is some evidence that COVID-19 infection may lead to intestinal infection and be present in faeces. However, to date only one study has cultured the COVID-19 virus from a single stool specimen. There have been no reports of faecal−oral transmission of the COVID-19 virus to date.

Can people recover from COVID-19?

Most people who get COVID-19 recover from it. Most people who get COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms and can recover thanks to supportive care. If you have a cough, fever and difficulty breathing seek medical care early – call your health facility by telephone first.

Does COVID-19 affect people of all age groups?

The COVID-19 virus infects people of all ages. However, evidence to date suggests that two groups of people are at a higher risk of getting severe COVID-19 disease. These are older people; and those with underlying medical conditions.

What is the recovery time for the coronavirus disease?

Using available preliminary data, the median time from onset to clinical recovery for mild cases is approximately 2 weeks and is 3-6 weeks for patients with severe or critical disease.

How long do COVID-19 patients need to be isolated for?

It is important to note that the clinical criteria require that patients’ symptoms have been resolved for at least three days before release from isolation, with a minimum time in isolation of 13 days since symptom onset.

Can COVID-19 be transmitted through food?

There is currently no evidence that people can catch COVID-19 from food. The virus that causes COVID-19 can be killed at temperatures similar to that of other known viruses and bacteria found in food.

Can COVID-19 be transmitted through feces or urine?

SARS-CoV-2 RNA has also been detected in other biological samples, including the urine and feces of some patients. One study found viable SARS-CoV-2 in the urine of one patient. Three studies have cultured SARS-CoV-2 from stool specimens. To date, however, there have been no published reports of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through feces or urine.

What is the most common diagnosis for COVID-19 patients?

The most common diagnosis in severe COVID-19 patients is severe pneumonia.