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Health: People infected with Covid-19 may be symptom-free for 5 days

As we learn more about the virus Covid-19, new research suggests that people with the virus may not have detectable symptoms for around 5 days, but should be expected to show symptoms within 12 days.

Professor Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology, University of Nottingham, said: “This study confirms that for the vast majority of cases, the incubation period for the novel coronavirus will be up to 14 days, with most people showing evidence of infection within 5 days or so…”

Professor Ball Said that he this it is really important when dealing with this outbreak that people fully understand the limitations of studies and their findings and also base any intervention or policy on norms, not extremes. He also stated that as it stands there is little evidence to suggest that a quarantine or self-isolation period of 14 days is not suitable.

The researchers conducted an analysis of news reports, public health reports, and press releases from 50 areas outside of Wuhan, China to estimate the length of the incubation period. Based on 181 cases they estimated the median incubation period of COVID-19 to be 5.1 days and 97.5 per cent of those who develop symptoms appeared to do so within 11.5 days of infection, suggesting the recommended 14-day monitoring and quarantine should be enough time for symptoms to show in most cases.

The authors caution that given recent evidence of SARS-CoV-2 transmission by mildly symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, time from exposure to onset of infectiousness (latent period) may be shorter than the estimated incubation period, with important implications for transmission dynamics

Currently there has been over 114,000 cases (more than 62,000 have recovered), 4,000 deaths and over 47,000 who still have the virus. Of the more than 47,000 cases, 13% are critical.

Around 22% of those who have died were more than 80 years old.

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