The Grapevine

More Than 80% Of Infected Cruise Ship Passengers, Crew Did Not Show Coronavirus Symptoms

Accuracy has been a big problem for everyone as far as COVID-19 numbers are concerned. While most know that timely submissions of data have been a problem in most regions, it appears pinning down the actual root of the coronavirus spread may be the next problem on the horizon. This was after it was reported that more than 80 percent of passengers and crew on an expedition cruise ship did not show any signs of the strain.

This discovery was revealed in a study by Thorax, raising concerns on the accuracy of reports and how people are infected by COVID-19. This would involve both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals who may be infected with the coronavirus.

“It is difficult to find a reliable estimate of the number of COVID positive patients who have no symptoms,” Alan Smyth, professor of child health at the University of Nottingham and joint editor-in-chief of Thorax, said. “As countries progress out of lockdown, a high proportion of infected, but asymptomatic, individuals may mean that a much higher percentage of the population than expected may have been infected with COVID.”

Other than that, there is another issue on the table. This has to do with the chances of someone being reinfected with the coronavirus, per the World Health Organization (WHO). Tests have been carried out on asymptomatic people using antibody tests. Unfortunately, these efforts have been marred by accuracy concerns - meaning it remains unclear how serious infections could be.

And it appears the cruise ship row is one that needs deeper looking into. After a 21-day expedition cruise to the Antarctic, the first case was reported after eight days but the necessary measures were undertaken. This includes restricting passengers to their cabins and suspending all daily services to spread possible infection. Crew members were ordered to wear protective equipment as well.

There were 217 passengers and crew who were on the ship for the duration of the journey. There are 128 who tested positive for virus. Of that number, 24 showed symptoms of the virus and 108 did not. The only thing missing in the report is that the type of testing administered was not detailed.

The type of testing is important to properly determine who is infected and who is not. For instance, there were reportedly 10 situations where passengers sharing the same cabin rendered different results. But the big question here is the type of test carried out and if it is accurate.

These findings are significant but lack some backing particularly the testing part. The results are important, especially for the cruise industry. They have been severely paralyzed by the coronavirus strain, although there are some in the industry planning to resume sails by Aug. 1.

cruise Per the latest release, cruise ships stuck in limbo still struggle to dock due to coronavirus pandemic. Pixabay, public domain

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