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UAE study compares symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 cases

Dubai: A study was published in an international journal on the first 1,249 patients who tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Abu Dhabi between February 28 and April 08, 2020. The study was undertaken to compare the condition of COVID-19 patients who exhibit symptoms and those who remain asymptomatic while infected.

Symptoms for this study included one or more of the following: cold, cough, fever, and loss of taste and smell.

The link between being symptomatic and testing positive in three consecutive RT-PCR tests was also examined and quantified.

Dr Farida Al Hosanin, official spokesperson for the healthcare sector in the UAE, announced the results of the study in a tweet on her account.

Findings of the study

In a total of 791 confirmed cases that exhibited symptoms the ages ranged from 1 year to 81 years. The most frequent two symptoms were fever and a cough. The mean age of symptomatic was between 23.7 years old and 48.9 years old. Meanwhile, the most asymptomatic cases fell under the age median of 21.8 years and 47.2 years old.

It is more likely that young people who are healthy and who are not highly exposed to community would get a mild type of the disease or have no symptoms at all.

Most of the cases who were symptomatic were people whose jobs made them stay in public places, or in the aviation and tourism sector along with the healthcare domain.

COVID-19 presents itself differently in each person. There is a large percentage of people that might not have symptoms but would test postive in two or more tests and can transmit the illness to others. The study found around 42 per cent of the cases do not exhibit symptoms but can transmit the illness to others.

Conclusion of the study

The isolation of postive cases be they symptomatic or asymptomatic is important to fight the disease.

A substantial proportion of the diagnosed COVID-19 cases in Abu Dhabi were asymptomatic. Quarantine of asymptomatic cases along with preventive measures such as wearing a mask and social distancing and raising awareness of populations working in high-risk settings is warranted.

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